Market analyst MFBI found the average cost of repairing an accident- damaged car in 2003 was £1,420, indicating an increase of 56% over the last 10 years, while the retail price index has risen by 29%.
The largest proportion of repair costs, according to The Car Body Repair Market in the UK, are replacement parts which amount to 49%, with labour making up about 39% of the cost.
However, changes to Block Exemption rules could mean a downturn in the cost of repairs as a more competitive parts market might result in a reduction in the cost of manufacturer sourced replacement parts.
MFBI's report also suggested that better use of 'smart' repairs would help off-set overall repair costs for fleet operators.
The research shows that the vehicles with the highest overall repair costs are Subaru, Jaguar, Mitsubishi and Mercedes-Benz, while the least expensive are from Suzuki, Fiat, Ford, Hyundai and MINI.