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The latest results from the Castrol Professional Car Servicing & Repair Trend Tracker report show that in 2013, 24.8% of motorists last had their car serviced at a franchised workshop, the same proportion as in 2012.
This is the first year since 2005 in which franchised workshops haven’t witnessed a decline in servicing numbers. But servicing visits to franchised outlets are still down from a peak of 30.0% in 2005.
Castrol said that independent workshops have seen their share of the servicing sector falter, following a period of consistent growth in servicing market share since 2005.
The report indicates that 46.3% of motorists had their car serviced at an independent outlet in the last 12 months, down from 47.3% in 2012.
Trend Tracker analyst Chris Oakham said: “It may be too early to jump to conclusions, but the data suggest that the independent sector’s run of growth could be coming to an end, and franchised dealers might well be at the start of an upturn in their fortunes.
“This is consistent with the recent growth in new car sales and an increase in the car parc under four years old. These are customers most likely to return to their dealer for routine servicing and maintenance work.”