August 18, 2009

Vehicle maintenance on decline in Canada

The economic recession has led to Canadians spending 7 percent less on maintaining their vehicles, a study published Tuesday in Toronto indicated.

The J.D. Power and Associates report said a survey of 14,388 car and truck owners found average annual spending on vehicle maintenance and repair services declined to $856 in 2009, from $920 in 2008.

In a difficult economy, vehicle owners seem to be delaying what they perceive to be non-essential maintenance or seeking out the lowest-cost option, said the company's senior director, Darren Slind in a release. In the long run, this may prove more costly in terms of vehicle reliability, but in the short term, consumers are dealing with other spending priorities.

The study also suggested new-car dealers continue to lose market share to after-market service providers, as after-market providers now account for 59 percent of the estimated $11.2 billion annual service market for vehicles that are between three and 12 years old, up from 57 percent in 2008, the report said.

The online survey was conducted by the Ipsos-Reid polling agency between April and June and no margin of error was published.