LESS MONEY FOR BUYING A CAR, MORE EXPENSE FOR USING IT
More cars on the road means more demand for garage services and contributing to the increase in work for vehicle repairers are the aging vehicles that have not been replaced because of recession-imposed postponements
With a 10.9% downturn in vehicle registrations, in 2011 the amount that Italians spent on maintaining and repairing their cars increased by 2.7% and brought the total to the tidy sum of € 30 billion. These figures emerged from a survey by the Autopromotec Observatory, the research institute that is part of Autopromotec, the most specialized international exhibition of automotive equipment and the aftermarket.
There are various reasons for the increase in costs. First and foremost, despite the problems of recent years, the number of cars in circulation has continued to increase, but the sales of new vehicles have plunged because people are postponing the moment for replacing vehicles that are ready to change hands or to be demolished, vehicles that owners have continued to use because they cannot afford a new one. Also contributing to the increased number of cars is the demand by first-time buyers, which has dwindled because of the recession but has definitely not disappeared. More cars on the road means more demand for garage services and contributing to the increase in work for vehicle repairers are the cars that have not been replaced because of recession-imposed postponements. Lastly, another factor that has increased the cost of garage work is the increase in prices. But there was no lack of cost containment factors even in 2011. Last year also saw the continuation of an enduring trend whereby garage services are required less frequently because vehicle quality continues to improve.
Because of the combined effect of growth and cost containment factors, the amount Italians spent in the estimation of the Autopromotec Observatory was € 30 billion. A tidy sum that went to over 92,000 garages that dedicate a part of their business to servicing vehicles.