Toronto, Ontario – Canadians are spending less on vehicle maintenance and repair, mostly for older vehicles, according to a new report by J.D. Power and Associates. Consumer-reported average annual expenditures dropped from $11.2 billion in 2009 to $9.8 billion in 2010, largely due to a significant decline in routine maintenance on vehicles four to seven years old.

The study found that the decrease was mostly due to a decline in the average amount spent per service visit, and a decrease in the overall number of visits. On average, each service visit cost $287 in 2010, versus $352 in 2009. While revenue from repair work has remained stable, routine maintenance has declined considerably.

“Stagnant economic conditions may be one reason owners might postpone expenditures, including routine vehicle maintenance,” said Ryan Robinson, director of Canadian automotive practice. “There are also other factors contributing to this decline, including longer manufacturer-recommended service intervals, improved reliability, and a slight decline in the average age of the three- to twelve-year-old vehicle fleet, due to strong new-vehicle sales during the 2006 and 2007 calendar years. It seems Canadian vehicle owners are becoming comfortable with the notion that they don’t need to do as much to maintain their vehicles as they once did.”

Based on several factors, including service advisor performance, quality of work, and the process of getting the vehicle in and returned, Petro-Canada’s Certigard ranked highest for satisfaction, receiving an overall index score of 869 on a 1,000-point scale. It was followed by Goodyear Auto Centers (838), Jiffy Lube (835), OK Tire (832), and Napa Autopro (831).

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