What you need to know

The auto service, maintenance, and repair industry is a $162 billion market, consisting of a highly competitive and fragmented landscape of car dealerships, tire stores, auto parts stores, and independent shops. This report focuses on how these key players can engage with consumers by providing in-depth analysis of the following:

  • Sales, market share, and marketing activity of the market participants

  • What are the primary drivers influencing the market?

  • US vehicle owners: Who are they, what do they drive, and how do they feel about auto maintenance and repair?

  • What types of maintenance and repair work do consumers purchase? Where do they go for service? What do they feel about preventive maintenance?

  • Additional consumer behaviors and attitudes regarding maintenance and repair.

This report builds on the analysis presented in Mintel’s Car Service: Maintenance and Repair – US, April 2013 and DIY Auto Maintenance – US, May 2013.


For the purposes of this report, the automotive maintenance and repair services market includes parts and labor provided by a service business. It does not include parts purchased directly by the consumer, whether for their own use in do-it-yourself auto repair/maintenance or to provide to someone else who is performing the repairs. Services and parts provided at full-service shops, such as dealer service departments and independent and chain repair shops, as well as specialty repair centers such as quick lube/oil change and tire service centers, are included in the market size.

Value figures throughout this report are at rsp (retail selling price) excluding sales tax unless otherwise stated.

Data sources

Sales data

  • Market Size and Forecast: Consumer expenditures on auto maintenance and repair services based on US Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates; forecast developed by Mintel.

  • Retail Channels: Company reports and NADA

Consumer survey data

For the purposes of this report, Mintel commissioned exclusive consumer research through Lightspeed GMI to explore consumer consumption of/attitudes and behaviors toward auto service and repair. Mintel was responsible for the survey design, data analysis, and reporting. Fieldwork was conducted Aug. 28-Sept. 15, 2014, among a sample of 2,000 adults aged 18+ with access to the internet.

Mintel selects survey respondents by gender, age, household income, and region so that they are proportionally representative of the US adult population using the internet. Mintel also slightly over-samples, relative to the population, respondents that are Hispanic or Black to ensure an adequate representation of these groups in our survey results and to allow for more precise parameter estimates from our reported findings. Please note that our surveys are conducted online and in English only. Hispanics who are not online and/or do not speak English are not included in our survey results.

Mintel has also analyzed data from Experian Marketing Services.

The Experian Marketing Services, Simmons NHCS was carried out during April 2013-June 2014 and the results are based on the sample of 24,073 adults aged 18+, with results weighted to represent the US adult population.

While race and Hispanic origin are separate demographic characteristics, Mintel often compares them to each other. Please note that the responses for race (White, Black, Asian, Native American, or other race) will overlap those that also are Hispanic, because Hispanics can be of any race.

Abbreviations and terms


The following is a list of abbreviations used in this report.

BLS Bureau of Labor Statistics
CPI Consumer Price Index
CPO Certified pre-owned
DIY Do-it-yourself
DIFM Do-it-for-me
NADA National Automobile Dealers Association
NCS/NHCS National Consumer Study/National Hispanic Consumer Study (Experian Simmons)
rsp Retail selling price
: :


Generations are discussed within this report, and they are defined as:

World War II /Swing generation Members of the WWII generation were born in 1932 or before and are aged 82 or older in 2014. Members of the Swing Generation were born between 1933 and 1945 and are aged 69-81 in 2014.
Baby Boomers The generation born between 1946 and 1964. In 2014, Baby Boomers are between the ages of 50 and 68.
Generation X The generation born between 1965 and 1976. In 2014, Gen Xers are between the ages of 38 and 49.
Millennials* The generation born between 1977 and 1994. In 2014, Millennials are between the ages of 20 and 37.
iGeneration The generation born between 1995 and 2007. In 2014, iGens are between the ages of 7 and 19.
Emerging generation The newest generation began in 2008 as the annual number of births declined sharply with the recession. In 2014 members of this as-yet-unnamed generation are younger than 7.

* also known as Generation Y or Echo Boomers

In order to provide an inflation-adjusted price value for markets, Mintel uses the CPI to deflate current prices. The CPI is defined as follows:

CPI The Consumer Price Index is a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of consumer goods and services.

The CPI and its components are typically used to adjust other economic series for price changes and to translate these series into inflation-free dollars. Examples of series adjusted by the CPI include retail sales, hourly and weekly earnings, and components of the national income and product accounts. In addition, and in Mintel reports, the CPI is used as a deflator of the value of the consumer’s dollar to find its purchasing power. The purchasing power of the consumer’s dollar measures the change in the value to the consumer of goods and services that a dollar will buy at different dates.

The CPI is generally the best measure for adjusting payments to consumers when the intent is to allow consumers to purchase, at today’s prices, a market basket of goods and services equivalent to one that they could purchase in an earlier period. It is also the best measure to use to translate retail sales into real or inflation-free dollars.

Based on Bureau of Labor Statistics definition.

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