Turning Potholes into Profit: How Independent Garages Can Thrive with Wheel Alignment Services 

As the state of the UK's roads continues to deteriorate with an increase in potholes, independent garages find themselves on the brink of a unique revenue-boosting opportunity.  

This article delves into the consequences of deteriorating road conditions and discusses how workshops already equipped with alignment tools can capitalise on this situation by offering essential interim services. 

Learn how the automotive industry is adapting to the changing road landscape and the potential benefits this brings to independent garages.

The Pothole Predicament

The UK is notorious for its pothole-riddled roads, and the problem has been escalating over the years. Potholes can vary in size and severity, but they all pose a significant risk to vehicles.  

These road imperfections can take a toll on tyres, suspension systems, and wheel rims, resulting in unexpected repair costs and inconveniences for drivers. According to DVSA MOT data, between January and March 2023, a staggering 8.58% of class III and IV vehicles failed their MOT tests due to suspension defects, while an additional 6.23% failed due to tyre-related issues. Consider this: approximately 16.5% of vehicles entering your garage could require wheel alignment services, and the demand is likely to be even greater. 

An article from the AA (The Automobile Association) reported that in May 2023, the AA alone responded to 49,801 roadside incidents, marking the second-highest breakdown total attributed to pothole-related damage since records began in 2017. 

The deteriorating state of UK roads can be due to water seeping into surface cracks, freezing, and expanding, which accelerates the degradation of road surfaces as vehicles pass over them. RAC (Royal Automobile Club) statistics reveal that pothole-related breakdowns attended to by their patrols reached a five-year high in the second quarter of 2023. 

Drivers are now 1.6 times more likely to experience breakdowns due to the repeated wear and tear caused by potholes compared to the situation in 2006. 

The Opportunity: Utilising Your Wheel Alignment Equipment  

For independent garages who already own wheel alignment equipment, the pothole problem presents an opportunity. Correct wheel alignment is crucial for the longevity of your customers' tyres and their vehicle's performance. Damage caused by potholes often disrupts wheel alignment, resulting in issues such as uneven tyre wear, reduced fuel efficiency, and compromised handling and affects the accuracy of safety systems such as ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems).

Wheel alignment brings benefits which include:

  • Boosted Revenue: Wheel alignment services serve as an income stream for your garage, diversifying your service offerings and reducing your reliance on repair work 
  • Preventive Maintenance for Your Customers: Wheel alignment services also function as preventative maintenance, enabling your customers to avert more extensive and costly repairs down the road, thus enhancing long-term customer satisfaction. 
  • Customer Retention: Providing wheel alignment services can elevate customer satisfaction by addressing a common issue stemming from potholes. Satisfied customers are more likely to return to your garage for future maintenance and repair work. 
  • Improving Efficiency: Investing in modern wheel alignment equipment is a strategic move that can pay off in the long run for your garage. The latest John Bean® wheel alignment equipment can integrate into your existing garage setup, enhancing productivity and increasing the profitability of your service offerings.

Why Your Customers Need Routine Alignment Checks 

Routine alignment checks are essential for your customers because they ensure safety, save money on fuel and tyre replacement, extend the life of vehicle components, provide a more comfortable driving experience, and help prevent costly repairs in the future. In essence, interim alignment checks offer your customers peace of mind, knowing they are maintaining their vehicles to avoid expensive issues in the long run. 

Incorrect Alignment, Causes and Effects  
Wheel alignment problems can also arise from factors such as hitting curbs, road debris, worn or broken suspension components, replaced suspension components, minor accidents, and normal wear and tear.  
The consequences of incorrect wheel alignment include uneven or excessive tyre wear, suspension component damage, vibrations, increased fuel consumption, vehicle pulling to one side, off-centre steering wheel, ADAS misalignment, vehicle safety issues, and expensive repairs if left unaddressed. Some of these issues can be particularly costly. 
Installing new tyres on a vehicle with misaligned wheels will result in uneven tyre wear on those fresh tyres, leaving your customers dissatisfied in no time. Considering the typical one-year or 12,000-mile service interval, there is ample opportunity for problems to emerge due to incorrect wheel alignment. 
How many existing services check the condition of under-car components to identify issues and provide corrective or preventative maintenance? The annual MOT may identify damage caused by incorrect alignment, but it won't prevent it from occurring. Offering interim wheel alignment checks can enhance customer satisfaction. 

Correct Wheel Alignment is Critical for ADAS 

The term "ADAS" refers to all driver assistance and collision avoidance systems that can reduce the severity of an accident or prevent one altogether. 

The IMI predicts that between 2014 and 2030, ADAS systems will prevent 25,000 serious accidents and save more than 2,500 lives. 

For ADAS systems to function effectively, precise wheel alignment is crucial. Incorrect wheel alignment can disrupt the accuracy of the sensors and cameras that ADAS systems rely on. 

This, in turn, can lead to inaccuracy in object detection, false alarms, delayed responses, and compromised safety, which is why it's crucial for vehicles with ADAS to maintain proper wheel alignment for optimal system performance.

How Often Should Vehicles Be Aligned?

The frequency of wheel alignment can vary from one vehicle to another, depending on driving conditions and habits. As a general guideline, we recommend an alignment check with every vehicle service. If your customers drive a substantial number of miles, more frequent checks are advisable.

What This Means for the Average Garage 

In simple terms, it's an opportunity! An opportunity to provide your customers with peace of mind while increasing your revenue. With an average cost of around £35 for either a front or rear alignment adjustment and roughly £70 for a four-wheel alignment adjustment, offering this service could generate approximately £700 in additional revenue with 10 services a week. In a matter of minutes, you can boost your profits and offer your customers impeccable service, ensuring they return to your garage time and time again. 

Incorporating Wheel Alignment into Your Routine 

Incorporating a brief alignment check into your routine service jobs is both time-efficient and cost-effective for your garage. By presenting your customers with the results and recommending necessary corrections upfront, you can prevent future component damage.  

This approach not only educates customers about the benefits of alignment but also serves as a value-added upsell opportunity, boosting your revenue with minimal extra effort for your technicians. Even if no adjustments are needed, it enhances your customer’s peace of mind. For vehicles requiring alignment fixes, it reassures customers that you're saving them money in the long run. 


The condition of UK roads, plagued by potholes, presents a golden opportunity for independent garages. The escalating pothole problem damages vehicles and has led to a significant number of failing MOT tests. 

Garages can increase revenue and customer satisfaction by offering interim wheel alignment services. Regular alignment checks can save customers money and ensure safety. 

Regular alignment checks can save customers money and ensure safety. By incorporating this service, you can save time and money while boosting your garage's revenue and customer satisfaction. It's a win-win for all involved!

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