Nearly two-thirds of car owners delay servicing and repair work because of Covid concerns, finds Bumper research

Nearly two-thirds of car owners delay servicing and repair work because of Covid concerns, finds Bumper research

Covid lockdowns and restrictions have prompted nearly two-thirds of car owners to delay servicing and repair work, even though they know dealer workshops and garages are open for business, according to consumer research by Bumper.

Bumper, the new name for Auto Service Finance, polled the views of 2,635 car owners in February to see whether decisions on having their vehicles maintained had been impacted by the pandemic.

The research found 63% had delayed services and repairs because of Covid restrictions, even though 86% admitted to being aware that garages and dealer workshops were permitted to operate.

“Our research highlights a worrying trend with most car owners admitting to being worried about taking their vehicles into garages and dealerships as a result of Covid restrictions,” said James Jackson, CEO and co-founder.

“This raises safety concerns as service schedules are being stretched and repair work is being put off. Dealers and garages need to allay customer fears by reassuring them that Covid-19 secure guidelines are in place with timed appointments, contactless handovers, vehicle sanitation and social distancing.”

Bumper’s research also identified that customers would favour the option of remote payment, rather than paying a service advisor in person. Most (53%) said they would prefer to pay for work remotely by phone, laptop or computer. Over half (57%) said their preference had changed as a direct result of Covid.

“As we work through the current lockdown it’s increasingly apparent that customers want reassurance from dealerships and garages. Encouraging them to pay remotely is an easy win, especially as most businesses are already set up to take payments over the phone, suggesting that communicating this option needs to be more widely promoted,” said Jackson.

About Bumper

Bumper provides an interest-free digital payment platform for vehicle repairs and services, enabling owners to spread their costs.

Formerly Auto Service Finance, the multi award-winning UK fintech company delivers an instalment financing solution using proprietary AI enabled technology to facilitate real-time lending decisions.

Bumper enables dealerships and garages to sell a larger proportion of red and amber work, reducing workshop downtime, with no risks or liabilities, while also creating greater customer loyalty.

Co-founded by CEO James Jackson and CCO Jack Allman, Bumper is rated 89 in the 2021 FT 1000 listing of Europe’s fastest growing companies. Bumper works with 2,500 franchised dealers, over 650 garages and major car brands across the UK and Republic of Ireland, helping over 100,000 drivers to fund their servicing and repair bills.

Bumper is based in Sheffield and London, with a tech development centre in Ankara, Turkey.

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