It is important for road safety and driver safety in SA that all vehicles are well maintained. 123RF — WAVEBREAK MEDIA
It is important for road safety and driver safety in SA that all vehicles are well maintained. 123RF — WAVEBREAK MEDIA

More than 90% of car owners in SA service their vehicles, with 88% saying they do so at the service intervals recommended by manufacturers.

This information is part of the vehicle service survey concluded by the Automobile Association (AA) of SA.

"We often speak of the necessity to service vehicles regularly, and to keep them in good running condition. This not only maintains the performance of the vehicle, but ensures it has a longer life span," the AA says.

"This also means our roads have vehicles on them which are roadworthy, which is critical to road safety. These results are encouraging, and we hope motorists continue servicing their vehicles in this way."

According to the results, 53% of car owners say they service their vehicles at the original dealer franchises, while 37% take their vehicles to private mechanics. Many owners are comfortable servicing their vehicles themselves, while a small percentage indicate they do not service their cars at all.

The rates of satisfaction among those who use original dealer franchises and those who use private mechanics for their services are equally high.

Some 80% of surveyed owners who use dealer franchises rate the service experience as good or great, while 85% of those who use private mechanics share this sentiment.

The results come against the backdrop of the Competition Commission’s inquiry into the automotive after-market and the campaign by private operators for more official recognition of their services. Industry role players are being consulted with a view to developing a second draft of a code of conduct for the automotive after-market.

"These results show us that vehicle owners are equally satisfied servicing their vehicles with private mechanics they trust, or by themselves, as by original dealer franchises. But, importantly, most (57%) still prefer using original parts for their cars, although the vast majority (77%) believe these parts are expensive," the AA says.

Only 16% of respondents believe original spare parts are fairly priced with most of the comments received indicating these parts are "greatly overpriced". However, despite this, many respondents say they will pay these prices over cheaper nonoriginal parts.

"It is important for road safety and driver safety in SA that all vehicles are well maintained and running properly. These results show there is a high level of responsible vehicle ownership in SA, and this is certainly to be applauded," the AA says.

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