Capricorn Report Shows Repairers Are Not Charging For Diagnostics

Capricorn’s State Of The Nation Report 2021 industry survey has found the number of repairers charging a fee to diagnose vehicle problems is rising, though the majority of respondents are not doing so.

According to the report, 37 per cent of members always charge a fee for the time taken to diagnose problems, representing a four per cent increase since the inaugural Capricorn State Of The Nation Report was conducted in 2020.

Capricorn Group CEO David Fraser said that given the need to reinvest in diagnostic equipment every 16 months or so, members should consider the costs of charging for diagnostics when determining their charges.

“The message here is if you’re not, you’re at risk of not covering your costs,” Fraser said.

The report also found that the number of members using tools to track operational efficiency is rising, though the majority are not employing the practice. According to Capricorn, two out of five members use software to measure and track operational efficiency, representing a nine per cent increase from 2020. Australian members were more than twice as likely to use such software compared to their New Zealand counterparts.

Additionally, 26 per cent of respondents said they update their diagnostic equipment every six months to keep pace with the vast number of vehicle makes and models driven on Australian and New Zealand roads.

“It is great to see members looking ahead and thinking long-term in the running of their business, including all of the value that’s tied up in the business they’ve built – that is absolutely the right mindset,” said Bradley Gannon, CEO of Automotive at Capricorn.

According to Capricorn, the State Of The Nation Report provides information and recommendations that have been developed from the contributions of Capricorn member businesses across the entire automotive service industry. Respondents included general automotive repairers, commercial and heavy-duty vehicle specialists, automotive electricians and collision repairers.

The report is freely available to the trade (including non-Capricorn members) and can be downloaded at