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High tech cars to push up repair costs and car insurance premiums

Stephen Hester of RSA Insurance claims that modern cars' added complexity will drive up repair bills and car insurance costs for motorists

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New cars are becoming more expensive to insure than ever before. The ever-rising levels of standard equipment mean that repairs are more costly than ever, which in turn pushes up customers’ premiums.

That’s the opinion of Steven Hester, CEO of RSA Insurance Group. Hester, whose RSA group owns More Than, says: “In the motor area, the cost of cars continues to go up as cars have more and more technology in them.”

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Of course, while some of that added tech is due to customer demand for extra comfort and refinement, other tech has been added to reduce the risk of injury to both occupants and other road users.

So while the increase in radars, sensors and other tech makes a newer car more expensive to repair if an accident occurs, the flip side to this is that accidents are less likely to happen in the first place.

According to a study conducted by Euro and Australasian NCAP in 2015, the addition of Autonomous Emergency Braking, for example, has proven to reduce rear-end collisions in the real world by 38 per cent. With many of these systems able to detect and avoid both pedestrians and cyclists too, third party injury claims have reduced by 45 per cent relative to cars unequipped with the tech.

The cost of repairs will become more of an issue once these cars depreciate in value several years into their lives, making expensive repairs no longer economically viable. A study by the Direct Line group in 2017 shows that a car is written off once every 90 seconds in the UK.

Check out the best breakdown cover prodivers of 2018, as voted by you in our Driver Power survey…

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Chief reviewer

Alex joined Auto Express as staff writer in early 2018, helping out with news, drives, features, and the occasional sports report. His current role of Chief reviewer sees him head up our road test team, which gives readers the full lowdown on our comparison tests.

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