Canada’s auto service market declines, impacting dealerships and aftermarket

Canada’s automotive service market is on the decline — shrinking to a pre-pandemic level of $9.1 billion from $10.9 billion in 2022, according to J.D. Power’s 2023 Canada Customer Service Index—Long-Term (CSI-LT) Study.

The report, released on September 7, measures consumer usage and satisfaction of service shops for vehicles that are four to 12 years old. In doing so, J.D. Power also found these customers are paying more for maintenance and repair work than a year ago.

“Inflation has certainly had an effect on automotive service,” said J.D. Ney, Automotive Practice Lead at J.D. Power Canada, in a statement. “Average spend per service visit is up year-over-year at both dealerships and aftermarket facilities—yet the number of service visits is down.”

Based on the study, the average cost per visit at a dealership is now $432 — up from $394 in 2022. At the same time the average cost per visit at an independent shop is $262, which is $15 more than a year earlier.

As for what customers prefer: aftermarket facilities are still outperforming dealerships when it comes to completing service work correctly, the first time around. The success rate is 95 per cent, versus 93 per cent for dealerships (down from 94 per cent in 2022 and 96 per cent in 2021). But consumers that do select a dealership do so (61 per cent) because of previous experience with the facility, followed by location convenience (42 per cent) and family/friend recommendations (23 per cent).

The full list of rankings is below:

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