Majority of Independent Repair Shops View Vehicle Data Access as Top Business Issue

Majority of Independent Repair Shops View Vehicle Data Access as Top Business Issue

Eighty-four percent of independent repair shops made that claim, surpassing other timely considerations, like technician recruitment and retention and inflation.

The Auto Care Association released results from a new nationwide survey of repair shops highlighting the challenges that independent repair facilities face when servicing vehicles, often forcing them to turn away business.

The results indicate:

  • 84% of independent repair shops view vehicle repair and maintenance data access as the top issue for their business, surpassing other timely considerations, like technician recruitment and retention and inflation. 
  • The majority (63%) of independent repair shops experience difficulties making routine repairs on a daily or weekly basis.  
  • Half of independent repair shops (51%) report sending up to 5 vehicles per month to the dealer due to vehicle data restrictions. 
  • Vehicle data limitations cost independent repair shops an estimated $3.1 billion each year.

“This research sheds new light on the stark reality facing the 273,000 shops and 900,000 technicians in in the United States if Congress fails to take action on federal right to repair legislation,” said Bill Hanvey, president and CEO, Auto Care Association. “Without change, local repair shops will be forced to turn away more and more business, leaving car owners with no choice but to foot outsized bills at the dealership. The REPAIR Act is critically needed to protect America’s vibrant network of local, independent repair shops that offer trusted service, convenience, and choice to millions of American drivers during the car repair process.”

Vehicle data restrictions disproportionately hurt small independent repair businesses by making it harder for them to offer certain repair services and parts to their customers – which can leave some car owners with no other option than the dealership for some repairs, the Auto Care Association’s new survey said.

These new findings elevate the first-person stories of independent repairers featured in the Auto Care Association’s new video campaign highlighting the impacts of unfair repair restrictions, and builds on growing momentum for federal right to repair legislation to protect independent repair businesses and consumers. Just last fall, the REPAIR Act (H.R. 906), which has 50 bipartisan co-sponsors, unanimously advanced out of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Innovation, Data, and Commerce.

In March, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report detailing how vehicle repair restrictions can “disadvantage” independent repairers relative to dealerships.

The Auto Care Association’s new survey was conducted by Hanover Research, an independent market research firm, from February 1-14, 2024 among 407 individuals who work at independent auto repair shops. The study has a margin of error of 5%.

Read the in-depth research memo here.

You May Also Like

PRT Launches 59 New Complete Strut Assemblies

Extending PRT’s product portfolio in North America, the new release represents nearly 12M vehicles in new coverage.


PRT announced the launch of 59 new complete strut assemblies for the North American market.

The launch includes application coverage for Nissan Frontier, Toyota Highlander and Mercedes E-Class models, in addition to brand-new applications, such as the Dodge Durango 2022, the Ram ProMaster City 2022, and the Mazda CX-9 2022, among others, according to PRT.

Submissions Open for 2024 Technology Innovation Award

Submissions for the MEMA Aftermarket Suppliers’ Business Technology Council Aftermarket Technology Innovation Award are due by August 16, 2024.

MEMA’s McCarthy, Wilson Provide Right to Repair Updates
AAPEX Webinars for 2024 Set to Kick Off

“What the Automotive Aftermarket Supply Chain Can Learn From Shops and How the Industry Can Provide Shops What They Need To Succeed,” is the first in this year’s series of free webinars.

MEMA Applauds Biden Administration Initiative to Support Suppliers

The announcement of more than $100 million in funding and a suite of strategic actions is in support of small- and medium-sized auto parts manufacturers and autoworkers.

MEMA Applauds Biden Administration Initiative to Support Suppliers
New Board Leadership Announced by Women’s Industry Network

At the upcoming WIN Annual Conference in Newport Beach, California, the new 2024-2025 WIN Executive Committee and board members will be formally presented.

Other Posts

SMP Releases 2023 Corporate Sustainability Report

The report provides insight into the company’s initiatives, future goals and achievements, Standard Motor Products said.

Aftermarket Data Standards – Beyond ACES

To remain relevant and valuable, the industry standards will continue to evolve and grow. They will never be finished, Scott Luckett affirmed.

GSP Announces New May Part Numbers

The units released in May are in stock and ready to ship, GSP said.

Cooper Standard Issues Corporate Responsibility Report

Titled “Commitment to Excellence,” the report provides updates on key sustainability targets, initiatives and ambitions.