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Independent aftermarket driving Britain forward - report

by Hugh Wilson | 01 Jul 2016

The British independent aftermarket is in vibrant health and is a significant contributor to the British economy, according to recent research.

The research, commissioned by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and carried out by an independent research consultancy, revealed that the UK automotive aftermarket is the fourth largest in Europe and the eighth largest in the world.

The health of the aftermarket is good news for the economy as a whole. The research revealed that the sector’s 42,500 vehicle service and repair locations contribute £12.2 billion to the UK economy annually and support 345,000 British jobs.

The aftermarket’s success continues to be driven by independent garages. Nearly two thirds of the aftermarket work carried out on vehicles in the UK is undertaken by independently owned businesses. That’s no surprise. The study found that parts and labour costs in independent garages are up to 65% and 45% lower respectively than in franchised locations.

And there’s no sign of the aftermarket slowing down. The report predicts that the sector will be worth £28 billion by 2022 and support more than 50,000 additional jobs.

“This report shows just how important the aftermarket is in driving the British economy, creating good, skilled jobs and of course keeping the vehicles on the roads that so many other sectors depend on,” says Maria McCullough, network manager for trusted independent networks AutoCare and Approved Garages.

“And it emphasises that the bulk of the work is done by the independent sector, which continues to go from strength to strength.”

All this aftermarket activity is helping to make Britain’s roads safer. The report also found that British motorists spend £21.1bn a year on servicing and repairs, making UK cars among the most well maintained in the world.

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