What you need to know

This report examines the market for do-it-yourself (DIY) auto maintenance, and provides insight into the external and internal factors that influence purchases and trends.

Overall consumer spending in the DIY auto maintenance market totaled $39.5 billion for 2014, up 5.8% from 2013. The DIY industry is expected to continue to grow at about a 3.9% annualized rate over the next five years, with total growth increasing by about 19% over today’s figures through 2019. Mintel also analyzes the growth in vehicle complexity and vehicle durability and its effects on the industry, as well as how the aging vehicle fleet is affecting the DIY industry.


This report builds on the analysis presented in Mintel’s DIY Auto Maintenance – US May 2013 and DIY Auto Maintenance – US, November 2011, as well as Mintel’s Auto, Service, Maintenance and Repair – US, December 2014.

Mintel defines the DIY automotive maintenance market as any work on parts or the purchase and installation of replacement or upgrade components that are completed under the vehicle owner’s own volition.

This will include doing both simple tasks such as replacing wiper blades and starter battery, to more complex projects such as replacing a car stereo, working on brake pads, brake rotors, transmissions, or rebuilding an engine.

DIY maintenance includes the following vehicle types: all cars, station wagons, sedans, pickup trucks, vans, minivans, and sport utility vehicles (SUVs).

Data sources

Sales data

Market Size and Forecast sections: based on Bureau of Economic Analysis, forecasts by Mintel.

Consumer survey data

For the purposes of this report, Mintel commissioned exclusive consumer research through GMI to explore consumer attitudes and behaviors toward DIY automotive. Mintel was responsible for the survey design, data analysis, and reporting. Fieldwork was conducted in November 2014 among a sample of 2,000 adults aged 18+ with access to the internet.

Mintel selects survey respondents so that they are proportionally balanced to the entire US adult population based on the key demographics of gender, age, household income, and region. Mintel also slightly oversamples, relative to the population, respondents that are Hispanic or Black to ensure an adequate representation of these groups in the survey results. Please note that Mintel surveys are conducted online and in English only. Hispanics who are not online and/or do not speak English are not included in the survey results.

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 abbreviations are used in this report:

CPO Certified Pre-Owned
DIY Do-it-yourself
OEM Original equipment manufacturer


Generations, if discussed within this report, are defined as:

World War II/Swing generations Members of the WWII generation were born in 1932 or before and are aged 83 or older in 2015. Members of the Swing Generation were born between 1933 and 1945 and are aged 70-82 in 2015.
Baby Boomers The generation born between 1946 and 1964. In 2015, Baby Boomers are between the ages of 51 and 69.
Generation X The generation born between 1965 and 1976. In 2015, Gen Xers are between the ages of 39 and 50.
Millennials* The generation born between 1977 and 1994. In 2015, Millennials are between the ages of 21 and 38.
iGeneration The generation born between 1995 and 2007. In 2015, iGens are between the ages of 8 and 20.
Emerging generation The newest generation began in 2008 as the annual number of births declined sharply with the recession. In 2015 members of this as-yet unnamed generation are younger than age 8.

* 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.

Back to top