Rising auto maintenance costs and higher insurance rates are in the works.
In recent years, the price of auto ownership, insurance, and required repairs has dramatically grown, in line with growing prices and currency inflation.
Frank Ferreira, President of Fera’s Automotive Services in Sharpsburg, claims that costs for labor, rent, taxes, equipment, and components have increased “tremendously.”
For instance, a headlight bulb used to cost around $10, but now they might cost several thousand dollars because of electronics and safety features, according to Ferreira. “It’s no longer just a bulb,”
Ferreira gave another illustration, stating that a replacement headlight and headlamp assembly for a BMW X3 SUV cost about $500 in 2007, which is equivalent to about $750 in modern currency.
Without labor, the cost of the 2022 model is about $4,100.
The expense of owning a car, including elements like fuel costs and annual insurance, has climbed dramatically both nationally and locally. If you want to buy and own a new automobile in 2022, you may anticipate spending an average of $10,728 annually, or roughly $894 per month, according to the most recent AAA research. In comparison to 2021, when the average yearly cost was $9,666, or $806 per month, this is an 11% increase.
The average cost of fixing damaged cars has climbed by 36% since 2018 and may surpass $5,000 by the end of this year, according to Michel International, a company that provides data and software to insurance companies and auto repair shops. The California-based business has an incredible 77 years of customer service under its belt and is really North America’s largest source of collision repair information.
According to Michel, insurance rates have climbed by 17% in the last year as a result of the rising cost of repairs. According to a Forbes analysis published in May, full coverage auto insurance in Pennsylvania costs about $3,600 annually, compared to the national average of $2,150.
Owners of body shops and mechanics view these rising prices from different angles.
Dennis Leasurewood, a mechanic and shop owner, claims that routine maintenance, which includes the replacement of worn-out parts, is an essential component of the automotive service industry in Greensburg.
Although costs do rise as a result of inflation, Leasurewood felt that things had stabilized since the outbreak. According to what I’ve observed in past years, this year has really been our busiest yet.
The price of auto repairs hasn’t gone up, according to Terentum’s Nick’s Collision Center manager Jeffrey Shaw, but there have been lengthier wait periods for parts.
We experienced severe delays in receiving the orders for the components we needed as a result of COVID. But in recent months, there has been a remarkable amount of work,” Shaw added. “I have no idea what transpired. We have reservations everywhere for months in advance.
Shaw stated that the delivery of required parts can occasionally take up to two months.
Electric vehicle effects
The average cost of repairing electric vehicles after collisions in 2022 will be close to $6,800, which is around $2,400 more than the average for all cars. This estimate comes from Michel.
Electric car repairs are more time-consuming and expensive, frequently needing specialized engineering expertise.
Hybrid cars, which combine gas and electricity, have internal combustion engines and are propelled by an electric motor that draws power from a battery’s stored energy.
According to Michel, the maintenance costs for popular electric vehicle manufacturers are about $800 more than those for gasoline-powered automobiles. For model years 2018 and after, the average cost of maintenance for battery-powered and gasoline vehicles in the premium sector is almost the same, coming in at roughly $7,000.
Leasurewood noted that a substantial portion of the pricey repairs for those autos include ordering parts. He claimed that because additional precautions and protocols must be followed, fixing electric vehicles also has a greater cost.
“We have special gloves we wear to prevent shocks from electrical wires or to prevent fires,” Leatherwood said. There are greater risks associated since electric automobiles have larger batteries.
He continued by saying that in order to work on electric and hybrid automobiles, lifting equipment and extra caution are required.
They (hybrid and electric cars) have separate systems, according to Leasurewood. The software has changed drastically.
Leasurewood stated that in Greensburg, his shop typically performs tire rotations and inspections for electric vehicles. They have only worked on one electric vehicle’s suspension.
“Greensburg has always lagged Pittsburgh by five to six years, so I don’t think we’ll see a significant increase in electric cars and electric car accidents for some time,” Leasurewood said. There is still no grid support.
The presence of more electric vehicles in this region, according to Shaw from Nick’s Collision Center, is “just a matter of time.”
It won’t be an option anymore, he said.