According to a 2014 consumer survey by AutoPartsWarehouse.com, motorists continue to embrace do-it-yourself auto repair to save money. Nearly 3,000 vehicle owners were asked about their car care and repair habits. Here's what the survey revealed:
· 33% of DIYers report saving $1,000+ doing their own maintenance and repairs
· 48% working on 10+ year-old vehicles
· 80% say easy access to parts online making them more likely to DIY
· 94% continue to DIY their vehicles in spite of improved finances
· 55% of women DIYers report doing more DIY this year
The findings show that these DIY auto repairers are chiefly driven by cost-savings (one-third report saving over $1,000/year), but also by the enjoyment of the actual work. In fact, comparing results to a similar 2012 study, there has been a slight downtick in those DIYing to save money and a slight uptick in those who say they DIY because they enjoy it – as well as a major increase in those reporting that even though their financial situation has improved, they still will DIY over going to the repair shop.
Overall, nearly half of DIYers report doing more repair work this year than last year, and two-thirds say they are more likely to attempt a difficult job. Interestingly, over half of women DIYer respondents say they are doing more DIY auto repairs this year than in 2012. Why? One reason is saving money, but the other key driver is that they are holding onto their cars longer (over 50% have cars that are 10+ years old). And the Internet continues to play a key role by delivering easy access to parts/accessories as well as extensive how-to information, making these consumers more likely to perform both simple and difficult DIY repairs.
DIYers are saving money and keeping their vehicles longer.
Reflecting current trends, these self-identifying DIYers are reporting that they own older vehicles and, given that DIYers tend to own used vehicles (74%), and do a lot of their own repair work (84% have done some work on their vehicle in past three months), it is no surprise that:
• 48% have vehicles that are 10 years or older
• 64% have over 100K miles on their vehicles
• 14% have over 200K miles
And they are pocketing quite a difference, nearly one-third say they are saving over $1,000 annually by buying parts and doing their own auto repair work, with 62% saving over $500.
By purchasing parts/accessories and doing DIY auto repair work yourself, this is how much they estimate they are saving yearly:
Over $1000 33%
$500 - $1000 29%
$300 -$500 23%
$0-$100 / I don't think I save any money 4%
DIYers Still Doing More DIY (especially women) and More Difficult Jobs
Overall, 44% of DIYers report doing more DIY work now than a couple of years ago. And, strikingly, 55% of female DIYers report that they are doing more of their own repairs this year than last. When it comes to the level of DIY work, 67% of both male and female DIYers said that compared to two years ago they are more likely to do a more difficult repair/upgrade job themselves than take it to the shop.
When asked why they are doing more work this year than last year, "holding onto my vehicle for longer" is tied (36 percent) with "saving money" (36 percent). Overall, "saving money" is the main reason (79 percent) respondents give for doing any DIY auto repair work on their vehicles; however, that has dropped about four percentage points from 2012 when it was 83 percent; "because I enjoy it" was cited by 66 percent, just slightly up (by two percentage points) from 2012.
Which best describes why you choose to work on your own vehicles? (check all that apply)
I enjoy it 66 percent
To save money 79 percent
I have the expertise 39 percent
I trust myself more than a mechanic 41 percent
I have classic or exotic car, andit's a hobby 13 percent
Other 6 percent
Two things seem clear: the financial picture has improved since 2014 for nearly half of these DIYers, but this is not necessarily driving them to the repair shop: of the DIYers who reported that their financial situation has improved nearly all of them – 94 percent! – say that they will still do their own repairs versus going to the repair shop – this is a big uptick from 79% in 2012.
Internet Continues to Influence…
The Internet is definitely making attempting DIY an easier proposition for consumers: when asked why they would choose to do a difficult repair/upgrade on their vehicle rather than take it to the shop, one-third cited the fact that there is more how-to repair information online and a whopping 80 percent overall (including those who do not identify as DIYers) said that easy access to auto parts/accessories online makes them more likely to DIY auto repairs/upgrades.
Dad helped teach them how to work on their own cars
Forty-four percent of female DIYers, versus 29 percent of male DIYers, report that they learned to perform maintenance/repair work on their vehicles from their dad/family. The data from female respondents - admittedly, a smaller universe (85 percent male versus 15 percent female) – offered some interesting counterpoints in the study.
For example, saving money appears to be a much bigger driver to DIY for women than for men: 44 percent of women, versus 31% of men, say they work on their vehicles to save money and when non-DIYers were asked why they have not done any auto maintenance/repair/upgrades themselves, women were far more likely to cite fear of breaking or damaging the car than men: 27 versus 18 percent. Nevertheless, while men were more likely to attempt more difficult repair jobs such as replacing transmission filters, flushing radiator/cooling system, repairing AC and repairing ignition wire sets, the data shows that some women are also doing these repairs.
Which of these jobs do you do yourself?
Male / Female Response percentages:
Change muffler - 31% - 13%
Recharge/repair AC - 37% - 21%
Replace transmission filters - 38% - 16%
Repair ignition wire set - 45% - 17%
Flush radiator/cooling system - 51% - 29%
Replace fuel filters - 56% - 29%
Replace spark plugs - 62% - 38%
Replace brake pads - 63% - 35%
Change oil filters - 64% - 40%
Change oil - 64% - 41%
Add antifreeze - 65% - 45%
Replace air filters - 65% - 41%
Replace headlamp bulbs - 66% - 42%
Replace windshield wiper blades - 66% - 45%
Replace battery - 66% - 45%
While men were more likely to attempt more difficult repair jobs such as replacing transmission filters, flushing radiator/cooling system, repairing AC and repairing ignition wire sets, the data shows that some women are also doing these repairs.
The AutoPartsWarehouse.com 2014 DIYAuto Repair Report is based on an online survey conducted among 2,843 consumers from May 29 to August 28, 2014.