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After housing, a vehicle is the most costly item in a European family’s budget. It is also an important budget line for most companies and public services. When realising that the repair and maintenance of vehicle accounts for almost the same amount as its purchase, one easily acknowledges the importance of keeping replacement parts, repair, and maintenance affordable.

A truly competitive automotive aftermarket is the prerequisite to keep mobility affordable throughout the entire life of a vehicle. Independent, multi-brand businesses, such as FIGIEFA Members, play a key role in it. They make it possible for repairers to source parts through different channels, and therefore to benefit from price competition, reducing the final invoice for the customers. This way, through regular – because affordable – maintenance and repair, the lifetime of the vehicle can also be extended, reducing its cost of ownership for consumers.

However, it becomes more and more difficult to maintain a satisfactory level of competition. The basket of parts open to competition is shrinking for various reasons. It is important that the legislators, at international, European and national level, tackle this issue, which is impairing the purchasing power of households, the competitiveness of businesses and the fiscal margin of public services.

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