Nearly a quarter of UK domestic holiday-goers looking to have their car serviced before they depart

This is the latest report in a series of weekly updates for industry colleagues from Rachael Prasher, managing director of What Car? and Haymarket Automotive. Quoted poll data is from more than 1700 whatcar.com users.

The summer holiday season is fast approaching, and Covid-guidelines mean domestic trips will be popular among the public. To find out what that means for dealers and aftersales departments, we polled 1747 What Car? readers to find out what their holiday plans are and whether they’ll be investing in new accessories for the journey or having their vehicle serviced before departing.

Of the 31% of respondents set to take a UK holiday this July and August, 88% told us they will be driving to their destination. The average distance drivers expect to cover to get to their holiday destination is 229 miles, although 14% of respondents said they are expecting to drive more than 500 miles.

With such high mileage for some, it’s perhaps not surprising that the research found 23% of those driving to their UK holiday destination are looking to have their vehicle serviced before the trip, to ensure it remains reliable. This could result in added demand for parts and servicing for dealers in the coming weeks.

Another source of demand is for accessories. The study found 12% of respondents have or will be fitting their vehicle with new accessories for the journey, with a roofbox the most popular choice, being named by 24% of respondents. Nearly one in five will be purchasing USB charge plugs, while 14% will invest in a bike rack, and 12% on tablet and mobile phone holders. One in 10 respondents told us they will be purchasing a pet harness or box for the trip.

While Covid guidelines have impacted the travel industry, then, the upside is that dealers and aftersales departments could see an increase in demand for both servicing and accessories as Brits choose to spend their holidays within the country. What this means for dealers is that they need to ensure they have adequate stock of popular accessories, and to ensure their workshops can deal with potential spikes in demand.