Fleet News

Body repair costs set to rise over next five years

THE average cost of body repairs will rise by 13% over the next five years, from £872 to £981, according to a new report by independent motor industry research analysts MFBI. It predicts that as demand for bodyshop services grows, labour rates will rise and fleet management and insurance companies will no longer be able to hold them at current, artificially low levels.

The report says total expenditure on car body repairs, including both insurance and non-insurance funded repairs, during 1997 stood at £5.1 billion, with 5.85 million repairs carried out. It forecasts that by 2002 total expenditure will have risen to £6.4 billion, with 6.5 million repairs being carried out.

However, high operating costs, low profitability and poor management within many bodyshops mean that the number of outlets is dropping. This, combined with an increase in volume demand, has resulted in a more equal balance of supply and demand.

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