While most industries are still struggling or are barely managing to maintain their foothold since the recession set in, one industrial segment is enjoying the benefits of a stalled economy.
According to a December 2010 Reuters report, the "Sputtering economy puts auto repair firms in fast lane.
" If one stops to think about it, it makes perfect sense why business is booming for auto repair shops.
Faced with higher unemployment and eliminated bonuses and raises, individuals are holding on to their vehicles instead of swapping in every couple of years when their lease runs out.
And with the age of the average American's mode of transport creeping higher and higher-now estimated to be nearly 10 years-more repairs are in order.
That tendency spells good news for mechanics and auto body technicians alike.
As the news report puts it, "As consumers put off buying new cars, they create more repair and maintenance work for automotive repair companies.
" This upswing in car repair business does not play favorites either.
Percentage wise, the mom-and-pop shops are seeing as many new customers as the mega auto repair corporations.
And the good news keeps on coming for auto repairers.
Reuters predicts that the "trend (of drivers patching and fixing their vehicles rather than buying new) should continue for a few years yet as a shaky economic recovery deters big-ticket buys.
" One industry expert anticipates that tendency toward repairing over replacement to last another two to five years, despite consumer spending rising 0.
4 percent in October 2010.
The recession hit a lot of people hard.
Understandably, they're reluctant to return to their old unfettered spending habits.
Of course, all this upkeep on their aging vehicles puts the burden on the consumers needing repair work.
With his or her warranty expired, it's up to the car owner to bear the costs.
Locating a reputable body shop that provides the best value for one's money also falls in his or her hands.
So what should these long-time vehicle owners be looking for in an auto repair service provider? The first thing they should do is ask around.
Family, friends, coworkers, neighbors- they're all game.
At one time or another just about everyone has had to have their car repaired, so everyone has a story.
Keep in mind that you're much more likely to get the down and dirty on a bad experience than a good one.
That being said, if someone you know offers an auto repair shop praise, there's a pretty good bet it's well deserved.
You should also investigate what kind of warranty the repair shop extends on its services.
If it's not an industry leading guarantee, which is the most important thing to remember in vehicle repair, then look elsewhere.
Finally, make sure to take the repair technicians' qualifications into consideration.
ICAR Gold class certification is considered the highest in the industry, so it's a good qualification to look for.
A commitment to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts and certified alternative components, with no knock-offs or cheap imitations ever being used also says a lot about an auto repair business.