But large repair chains have largely been slow to adapt to changing customer needs, Artzi said.
Now, driven by technology and to some extent the growth of on-demand home services in general related to the pandemic, mobile auto repair is beginning to take off nationwide.
Several well-funded startups, including RepairSmith and YourMechanic.comoffer mobile service essentially by providing an online platform to schedule service with local independent mechanics and manage pricing and billing.
The value of parts used alone in mobile auto repairs of cars and light trucks grew from $265 million to $487 million between 2016 and 2020, growing more than 20 times faster than the value of all sales of parts to auto shops and mobile technicians combined, according to Lang Marketing, an Indiana-based market research firm that tracks the market for aftermarket parts used for many common maintenance and repair jobs.
“Millennials, who over generations are becoming the primary buying force in the secondary market, are much more likely to use mobile repair than, say, baby boomers or Gen Xers,” said Jim Lang, president of Lang Marketing, adding that millennials are much more likely to shop online in general.
“The pandemic helped because people didn’t want to walk into a service store and sit in a waiting room,” Lang added. “Some of that has subsided, but more importantly, with rising gas prices, there will be an increase in mobile repairs among consumers because they don’t want to drive to have their oil changed. oil if this service can be performed in their driveway.”