Cost of motor repair rises this year

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The overall cost of motor repair rose 4% in the first half of 2019, with fixes for all makes and models reaching £1,919, according to an analysis of the UK car body repair market.

Independent research company Trend Tracker, whose report on the UK car body repair market was published in January, issued the update, showing that the average repair cost for cars continued to rise in the first half of the year, to a weighted average of £1,919, up from £1,845 in 2018.

This represents a 4% overall increase in insurance-related accident repair expenditure, for all makes and models of cars, for the first half of 2019.

Long-term, the average repair cost trend for cars is rising, from a weighted average of £1,366 in 2013 to £1,919 for the first half of this year.

Parts make up a significant proportion of this cost—approximately 42%—a figure that has remained fairly consistent for the past six years.

This means that the average parts spend on car repairs was £803 in the first half of 2019, compared to £787 in 2018 and £721 in 2017.

Despite car accident repair costs increasing, motor claims frequency is expected to fall slightly in 2019.

The rate at which policyholders are claiming against their motor policy has continued its long-term decline, reaching the lowest level on record in Q2 2019, at 11.4%.

Mark Bull, director and research analyst at Trend Tracker, said: “The data clearly demonstrates that vehicle design and build complexity, including advanced automotive engineering technology system integration, has resulted in higher accident-related parts cost increases and additional labour time being required to return a vehicle back to the road safely, leading to higher costs.”

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Mark Dugdale is the editor of Claims Media. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached via mark.dugdale@barkerbrooks.co.uk