New routes to market for car dealers feeling the cost-of-living crisis

The cost-of-living crisis is going nowhere fast and independent garages and franchised dealers are among those feeling the pinch. A recent poll by The Motor Ombudsman revealed that 75% of service and repair businesses foresee rising operational costs, taxes and energy bills as the most significant operational challenge in 2024. 58% also listed paying more for spare parts as another challenge in the year ahead.

More than half of respondents (54%) said they would be confronted with the dilemma of having to raise prices in the face of consumers already cutting back on spending – meaning walking a thin line between maintaining pace with inflation and further disaffecting their customers. Garages are foreseeing customers putting off essential vehicle repairs (54%) and routine maintenance (49%) to reduce household expenses.

Read more about The Motor Ombudsman’s poll here.


Finding new ways to boost business revenue

One way for both independent and franchised dealers and retailers to protect their businesses is by finding new routes to market that offer to support their customers. With many drivers worried about the unexpected cost of a mechanical or electrical fault with their vehicle, and some choosing to put-off essential repairs when those faults do occur, a high-quality warranty can provide the financial support needed.

Similarly, cosmetic repair insurance will help ensure your customers’ vehicles look their best for longer, which has the added benefit of maintaining their resale value – essential when it comes to trading in. Or a service plan can help customers spread the cost of their annual service and beat any inflationary price rises ahead of their vehicle’s next appointment. All these products provide value to customers while helping dealers and retailers boost their revenue, create customer contact opportunities, and enhance satisfaction and retention rates.

EVs another cause for concern

The Motor Ombudsman survey also highlighted the concern among repairers about the impact EVs will have on their businesses. 26% said battery-powered cars would provide less scope for additional revenue opportunities and replacement parts in 2024. However, they did say this was down from 32% a year previous, “as more businesses look to embrace new technologies and seek other revenue streams”.

One of those revenue streams is through the provision of warranty and aftercare products for customers’ hybrid and electric vehicles. Car Care Plan has specific wording for hybrid and battery electric components in standard warranty products to ensure these customers receive the same level of protection as those with traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.

Car Care Plan also recently launched EV Drivers Club, a membership programme that supports customers with a wide range of services and benefits, including EV Drivers Club Assist, Zoom EV Full Membership, SmartFob including Keycare, Zapmap Premium Membership, Bonnet Charging App discounts, and Dent Wizard Ventures (DWV) discounts. More on EV Drivers Club here.

To learn more about Car Care Plan’s industry leading products and services, contact us today.

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