The Rising Cost of Auto Repair

June 24, 2019 by Chris Bibey

It’s your hope that your vehicle never requires a repair – not even a minor one – but this isn’t likely. In addition to regular wear and tear, you could also be involved in an accident at some point.

With the rising cost of auto repair, you may find yourself in a difficult financial position should your vehicle require professional attention.

According to Mitchell International, a well known source for technology trends and emerging industry insights, there has been a 23% repair price increase between car generations.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the reasons for the increase in auto repair costs:

1. High-Tech Features

Go back in time 20 years (even 10) and cars were not nearly as advanced as they are today. While the addition of technology has gone a long way in making vehicles more comfortable and sophisticated, this isn’t a good thing when it comes to repairing them.

A recent article by the Detroit Free Press shares the following:

“Growth in electronic vehicle content — items added to address vehicle safety or convenience — also add to the overall cost and complexity of repair and the need to understand (automaker) recommended repair procedures."

These are things you didn’t see in vehicles a couple decades ago. There were no navigation systems. There were no backup cameras. There were no advanced safety features.

There’s no denying that technology has made vehicles more comfortable and safer than ever before. Unfortunately, along with this, the cost of repair is on the rise.

2. Complexity and Repair Costs

Do you remember the days when replacing a damaged bumper was a piece of cake? You’d remove a few bolts, swap it out, and bolt it back on.

In today’s vehicles, things are very rarely this easy. Instead of dealing with a single component, many others come into play.

For example, replacing a front bumper may also bring motion sensors, airbags, and cameras into the equation.

As the complexity of a repair increases, so does the amount of time it takes to complete the project. And with higher labor costs also in place, it’s easy to see why repair shops have to charge more money.

3. The Use of Better Materials

It’s great that the automotive industry continues to evolve. With each passing year, the quality of the materials used is better than ever before. For instance, many body parts are now able to withstand minor run-ins with minimal damage.

While advanced materials are beneficial in many ways, they’re also more costly to repair or replace.

The Impact on Your Finances

We hope that you never have to personally find out about the high cost of auto repair, but you never know what’ll happen to your vehicle in the future.

There are two ways the rising cost will impact your finances:

•    Out of pocket costs: If you’re taking on a repair project yourself, as opposed to through your insurance company, you’ll pay for everything out of pocket. This alone will open your eyes as to how expensive repairs have become.
•    Insurance premium increase: Since car insurance companies are paying out more money to fix their customers’ vehicles, they have no choice but to hike their rates. As the cost of auto repair increases, you can expect insurance premiums to do the same.

Conclusion

In Canada, we’re experiencing higher repair costs than ever before. Mitchell International notes that “the average gross initial appraisal value – calculated by combining data from all first- and third-party repairable vehicle appraisals uploaded through Mitchell Canadian systems in Q2 2018 – was $3,894, a $63 increase from Q2 2017.”

If your insurance premium continues to climb, contact us to discuss your options. We can help you find the perfect policy at a price that fits your budget.