More than 90 percent of car owners in South African service their vehicles, with 88 percent saying they do so at the service intervals recommended by manufacturers. This information is part of the Vehicle Service Survey recently concluded by the Automobile Association (AA).
“We often speak of the necessity to service vehicles regularly, and to keep them in good running condition. This not only maintains the performance of the vehicle, but ensures it has a longer lifespan. This also means our roads have vehicles on them which are roadworthy, which is critical to road safety. These results are encouraging, and we hope motorists continue servicing their vehicles in this way,” says the AA.
According to the results, 53 percent of car owners say they service their vehicles at the original dealer franchises, while 37 percent take their vehicles to private mechanics. Many owners are comfortable to service their vehicles themselves, while a small percentage indicate they do not service their vehicles at all.
And, interestingly, the rates of satisfaction among those who use original dealer franchises and those who use private mechanics for their services are equally high. Eighty percent of owners who use dealer franchises rate the service experience as good or great, while 85 percent of those private mechanics share this sentiment.
The results come against the backdrop of The Competition Commission’s enquiry into the Automotive Aftermarket, and the campaign by private operators in this sector for more official recognition of their services. This process is ongoing and industry role-players are currently being consulted with a view to developing a second draft of a Code of Conduct for the Automotive Aftermarket.
“What these results show us, is that vehicle owners are equally satisfied servicing their vehicles with private mechanics they trust, or by themselves, as through original dealer franchises. But, importantly, most owners (57%) still prefer using original parts for their cars, although the vast majority (77%) believe these parts are expensive,” the AA notes.
Only 16 percent of respondents believed original spare parts are fairly priced with most of the comments received indicating these parts are “greatly overpriced”. However, despite this, many respondents say they will pay these prices over cheaper non-original parts.
“It is important for road safety and driver safety in South Africa that all vehicles are well maintained and running properly. These results show us there is a high level of responsible vehicle ownership in South Africa, and this is certainly to be applauded,” the AA concludes.