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AutoForum - November / December 2018


Rising repair costs and new technology

- Heather Grant

The cost of crash repairs is rising in the UK due to the increasing complexity of car technology, structural build and passenger safety systems. While cars are being built to improve occupant safety and reduce the severity of crashes, to meet the exacting demands of these high spec vehicles in repair, body shops are having to invest in specialist training and tools as well as employ recalibration equipment to reset the cameras and sensors on the Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) post repair. With the vast number of vehicle variants entering

The average net parts prices for every estimate

It is estimated that around 10 per cent of

the market, costs are rising in every area.

calculated using Audatex increased by an average

vehicles are now fitted with some form of ADAS

According to the ABP Club’s Industry Yearbook

of 42.6 per cent between 2007 and 2017, from

for emergency braking, parking sensors, lane

statistics for 2017-2018 – based on over 21

£502 to £716 respectively.

discipline, adaptive headlights, adaptive cruise

million UK assessments across the last 10 years

control, etc. After a vehicle repair, many of the

– the average estimate has soared by 34 per

“This is all having a profound effect on the

systems’ cameras, radars and lidars require static

cent. It’s gone up from £1163 in 2007 to £1558

overall cost of repair,” added Shepherd. “A

or dynamic recalibration, or sometimes both.

in June 2017, in line with the rise in vehicle build

study conducted by Thatcham Research and the

Incorrect calibration of even a simple adaptive

complexity and the fluctuating value of the British

Association of British Insurers (ABI) revealed that

cruise control sensor may result in a vehicle

Pound in the last decade.

average vehicle repair costs in their sample have

slowing unexpectedly if, for example, the camera

increased by 32 per cent to £1678 in the three

senses a vehicle approaching in another lane

“In this time, vehicles have become much more

years leading up to June 2017. This highlights

rather than sensing the distance of the vehicle in

complex, in both the nature of the structural build

the importance of right-first-time estimates and

front. Even door mirrors can require calibrating

and in intelligent electronic systems, such as

building knowledge of the technology fitted to

and programming – if they have sensors to pick

ADAS equipment, Safety Restraint Systems (SRS)

modern vehicles, which will help to minimise the

up vehicles in the blind spot.

and sophisticated infotainment systems,” said

time taken to perform repairs and contain the

David Shepherd, Managing Director, Audatex UK &

overall claim cost.”

Africa. “Audatex has observed an increase in the number of parts required to repair vehicles safely, with the inflationary cost of parts also rising.


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AutoForum November / December 2018  

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