Rising costs named number one challenge in 2023

A Motor Ombudsman poll of independent garages and franchise dealer workshops has revealed that rising operational costs, taxes and energy bills are set to be the biggest operational challenge for 90% of businesses in 2023.

This is a marked increase on the 64% of respondents who stated in the same study that paying more for utilities and higher costs had reduced overall business profitability last year.

Nearly two-thirds (63%) of businesses that took part in the research by the Ombudsman for the automotive sector also cited that they will have to contend with motorists putting off essential repairs to their vehicle this year due to the squeeze on household incomes. Similarly, 59% of survey participants stated that paying more for replacement car components due to shortages and inflation would be another trying factor during the coming year.

According to the findings, fewer customers being able to afford routine vehicle maintenance, such as servicing, poses another threat to footfall and revenues for 57% of garages and workshops in 2023.

When asked about the difficulty in recruiting qualified, 43% stated that adding experienced technicians to their team would continue to be a challenge.

With fewer moving and serviceable parts on electric vehicles (EVs), around a third of workshops (32%) stated that EVs would provide less scope for additional revenue and aftermarket opportunities in 2023. However, nearly half of the businesses surveyed (44%) still plan to invest in staff training on EVs.