BETHESDA, Md. ( July 11, 2001)— Contrary to common belief, the do-it-yourself (DIY) segment of the automotive aftermarket is not shrinking. In fact, the percentage of DIYer households in the U.S. has remained constant for the past six years, according to a study released by the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA).
“The Aftermarket Consumer: Do-it-yourself or do-it-for-me” study reveals that since the last study in 1994, the percentage of U.S. households performing light, medium or heavy-duty DIY maintenance has not changed.
Nearly half of all U.S. households contain at least one automotive DIYer despite a sharp decline in the 25- to 44-year-old “prime” DIY age group, the association said.
“Although the portion of DIYers has not changed since we did this study in 1994, the frequency with which DIYers work on the vehicles has declined,” said Alfred L. Gaspar, AAIA president and CEO. “Our research shows that a higher percentage of DIYers have gone from doing maintenance monthly or once every two to three months to less than once every two to three months.”
A significant drop of 26.6 percent in DIY oil changes occurred in the past six years, the AAIA said. Some 75 percent of DIYers changed their own oil in 1994. In 2000, the percentage dropped to 55 percent.
According to the AAIA study, the typical light DIYer is 49 years old, male or female (male 51 percent, female 49 persent), married, with a college education, $57,700 household income, with two vehicles, who works on his/her vehicle an average of 12 times a year primarily to save money.
The typical medium and heavy-duty DIYer is a married male who works on his vehicle 16 and 20 times a year, respectively, the AAIA said.
The study suggests that two-thirds of do-it-for-me (DIFM) automotive service buyers choose aftermarket service facilities over new car dealerships, listing trust, convenience, guarantee and cost as the rationale.