More than a quarter of millennials would undertake their own vehicle repairs to save on costs rather than paying a professional garage, an eBay study has revealed. In contrast, just 18% of baby boomers are willing to get their hands dirty – they’re more likely to opt for help from their local workshop.
Contrary to popular opinion, Gen Z is seemingly willing to get its hands dirty, with more than 23% of 17-24 year old respondents inclined to undertake minor car repairs themselves.
As the UK’s largest automotive online marketplace, eBay is selling parts from its network of traders, garages and car businesses to fuel rising appetite for DIY car repairs, especially among the younger generation and motorists holding on to their used cars for longer.
Analysis carried out by eBay has revealed it would need a warehouse the size of 11 Wembley Stadium roofs to house all the car parts and accessories listed on its marketplace in 2022.
Windscreen wipers are one of the easiest items to fix, with more than half of customers prepared to fit them at home according to eBay research^. Sales for 2022 reflected this, with the online retailer selling enough wipers to stretch from Oxford to Edinburgh last year, more than 485km, if laid end to end.
Broken or smashed door mirrors could cause an MoT test failure and were among the other easy-to-fit items popular with motorists last year. A fifth of motorists would be willing to carry out a mirror replacement, according to research by eBay, potentially saving themselves up to £54.85~ for an MoT retest on a failed part. In 2022, eBay sold enough wing mirrors to cover nearly 18 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
It wasn’t just exterior items that were popular on the site, enough car seats were sold to kit out Manchester Arena – the UK’s biggest indoor arena with a capacity of 21,000 – nearly 10 times over. Buyers also purchased enough floor mats to carpet the inside of London’s Millennium Dome four times over.
Battery-related issues are the biggest cause of call-outs for breakdown patrols in the UK. Last year, eBay sold enough car batteries to power the Eiffel Tower for over 20 years, with more than 201kWh of power.
Dr Tony Tong, Head of Automotive at eBay UK, said: “As the cost of living continues to rise, motorists are increasingly looking for ways to reduce their running costs across the board. This trend towards DIY repairs, spurred on by interest from younger generations, is something we expect to keep rising - converting more and more motorists into enthusiast home mechanics. Doing simple jobs yourself is an easy way to upskill and save, while eBay’s intuitive MyGarage function makes it really simple to find the right part for your car.
* The research by eBay used actual 2022 sales data, basing calculations on parts for the UK’s best-selling car in 2022, the Nissan Qashqai.
** Available when using the desktop version of the site
~ Maximum charge in the UK for an MoT test
^ Consumer research was undertaken on behalf of eBay by Censuswide, with fieldwork conducted between 9th and 11th January 2023. The survey sample was 1,535 UK respondents who own or drive a car (aged 16+)