Bob Hood, RMI Bodyshop Services manager, said repairers were finding it difficult to survive.
“It is clear that repairers, while working to prevailing depressed labour rates, are no longer able to carry the burden of these services,” he said. “During the last winter period, only a slight rise in insurer labour rates had been experienced. “With the exception of Allianz Cornhill, most insurers took the opportunity offered by a mild winter to maintain market suppression to the detriment of professional repairers who need to invest in their businesses to maintain the highest quality customer service.”
Mr Hood said repairers agreed that free services should carry a charge from January 1, 2001. The RMI will now carry out analysis looking at the cost of offering the additional free services.