Advertisement

Bodyshop shortfall could hike insurance prices

Warnings of car bodywork repair delays and increased insurance premiums

Car body repair bodyshop paint spray

A shortfall in bodyshops will see motorists waiting longer for crash damage repairs and could hike insurance premiums, a new report predicts.

The number of car body repair shops has decreased by a third over the past decade, with another 10 per cent expected to disappear by 2020, according to research by Trend Tracker.

That’ll leave a repair capacity deficit in the UK, creating backlogs and frustrating delays for owners while also increasing the cost to insurers.

Advertisement - Article continues below

The rapid decline in bodyshops is down to a lack of demand, as motorists have driven fewer miles and had fewer accidents in the past 10 years.

False whiplash claims are wasting NHS time

The expense of running a body repair garage that’s not used regularly has seen franchises switch to on-site servicing. They now favour using smart repair teams to carry out second-hand refurbishments.

Safety improvements such as ABS, standard in the EU since 2007, have also contributed to falling accident rates, while extra congestion means high-speed accidents are rarer, too.

Drivers are therefore less likely to claim for smaller crashes they’re involved in, as it’s more cost effective to protect a no-claims bonus and avoid paying a policy excess. Policy excess is much higher than before, with comparison websites often offering better deals for higher compulsory and voluntary excess.

Trend Tracker’s Robert Macnab said the number of repairs needed is forecast to begin increasing by 2020, due to the number of people on the road rising again as motoring costs fall. And while insurers were spoilt for choice in 2004, quality bodyshops are now rarer.

More mobile phones being used at the wheel

Technical advances in car production with new materials and hybrid tech mean the average cost of a repair will rise, too. It leaves insurance companies with a decision on how to foot the bill.

Macnab added: “The UK motor insurance market is highly competitive and attempts by insurers to raise premiums have often come unstuck.”

Tell us about your experiences with accident repair in the comments below...

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

Check your car's mileage and MoT history
UK MoT tests could become less stringent
Consumer news

Check your car's mileage and MoT history

A Government website allows users to find the entire MoT history of any vehicle plus other details free of charge
5 Jun 2020
UK bosses call for scrappage scheme to kick-start car market
Consumer news

UK bosses call for scrappage scheme to kick-start car market

Government support is essential to boost UK economy, say bosses
4 Jun 2020
Seven-month extension for photocard driving licences
News

Seven-month extension for photocard driving licences

An estimated 1.4 million drivers who would otherwise have had to renew their photocards have been granted an automatic extension
3 Jun 2020
Concerns as rise of connected cars coincides with sharp increase in cyber attacks
Consumer news

Concerns as rise of connected cars coincides with sharp increase in cyber attacks

Some 67 per cent of new cars registered in the UK are ‘connected’, with automotive cyber attacks rising rapidly
27 May 2020

Most Popular

New 2022 Honda Civic Type R hot hatch set to stick with tradition
Honda Civic Type R

New 2022 Honda Civic Type R hot hatch set to stick with tradition

The next Honda Civic Type R will grow in size, but it won’t use a hybrid powertrain. Our exclusive image previews how it could look
5 Jun 2020
New Volkswagen Golf 2020 UK review
Volkswagen Golf

New Volkswagen Golf 2020 UK review

The new Volkswagen Golf will have to perform well on British roads to live up to its legendary name
5 Jun 2020
New BMW 4 Series: full details, specs and pictures of the 2020 car
BMW 4 Series

New BMW 4 Series: full details, specs and pictures of the 2020 car

The new BMW 4 Series coupe has distanced itself from the 3 Series with bold styling and a huge grille
5 Jun 2020