PARKER, Colo. — The garage bays are consistently full at Pride Auto Care in Parker.
"Last year we thought it was just going to be a terrible year," said co-owner Vincent Pridemore. "It turned out to be an incredible year.
That seems to be the trend at auto repair shops across the country.
"It seems more people are holding onto their cars longer," said Dwight Pridemore. "We’ve definitely seen a swing on the decision point of keeping an older car and buying a newer one."
Shop owners from across the country gathered at a Transformers Institute convention in Colorado Springs in August. The consensus was clear: Business is up across the board.
"There’s an instability in the economy," said Transformers Institute CEO Greg Bunch. "Some people seem to be doing really well. Some just aren’t sure what’s going to happen. So people are not willing to take on an $800 car payment."
Bunch also talked about the chip shortage on new cars and the crazy high prices of used cars. In turn, more car owners are sticking with their old car and going in more often for tune ups.
"That's a good thing," said Dwight Pridemore. "Cars are more reliable than ever before. A little TLC and they'll do you right for many years to come."
The Pridemores have had to add to their staffing to keep up with demand. That's another trend Bunch is seeing across the nation.
Issues are popping up too. Parts shortages are becoming a problem.
"All this extra business is good ... to a point," said Jamie Caldwell who owns Elite Motor Works LLC in Florida. "When you get to the point where you can’t service your customers anymore... they get upset... because they want their car fixed, understandably. But if you can't do it then you’re offering a disservice. Then it's kind of working backwards."
Bunch doesn't see this auto repair boom ending anytime soon.
"Overall, the next five years in our industry... all the stats say that we're going to have more cars on U.S. roads out of warranty than ever before in history," Bunch said.