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Repair Shop Advice

Good News for Auto Repair Shops – Used Car Sales Spike

September 18, 2020

The sweet spot in the market for auto repair shops is vehicles that are 6-12 years old.  The owners of these vehicles have recently gotten rid of their car payment, are no longer under warranty and will have to start investing in their vehicle’s maintenance if they want to avoid having to buy a new one.  Even major repairs can be justified for many of these vehicles, as they are likely to have years of life remaining if they are properly maintained.

That ideal market is about to get a little larger.  The used vehicle market is on fire right now, leading these vehicles to leave car sales lots and get back on the road more quickly than ever.  Average used vehicle prices have increased nearly $2,000 since the beginning of the pandemic, and the average number of days a car sits on a lot is lower than it has been in years.


Before the pandemic, some households had only one car and relied on public transportation or ride sharing when car sharing wasn’t possible.  The pandemic has made each of those alternative transportation options far less appealing, so households are buying vehicles to meet these needs instead.  And since these newly purchased vehicles won’t be the primary family vehicle, many buyers are looking towards a more affordable pre-owned vehicle instead of a new one.

This means that the vehicle is much more likely to leave the lot without any dealer coverage at all.  Independent shops are the perfect maintenance choice for these vehicles due to their affordability and more convenient locations.  If your shop isn’t trying to capture the attention (and business) of people who are considering purchasing or have recently purchased a used vehicle, it’s an excellent opportunity to build trust with these owners.

Providing a discounted or free inspection for recently-purchased vehicles will make it easier for the buyer to visit your shop for maintenance than other shops. If you really want to get crazy you could even offer a free inspection for used vehicle before someone purchases it.  These inspections can effectively build trust, and a pipeline of future business by providing both the customer and your shop with a list of maintenance and repairs needed to keep the vehicle safe and reliable.  And it’s an opportunity for you to demonstrate that you’ll help them make informed decisions instead of pushing for a sale.

If your current customers’ family members are considering a used vehicle, it’s an especially good opportunity for new business.  Since someone in the family already trusts your shop, it’s more likely that the newly purchased vehicle will find its way back to your shop for major repairs when they come due.  Advertising a free inspection of recently-purchased used vehicles in your shop or on your invoices will make it more likely that current customers will see it.  Referrals are one of the most effective ways to earn business – and family referrals are among the most trusted ones!

To learn how Repair Shop Websites can help you get more vehicles into your shop, call us at 855-294-6397 or email us at