AM Online

Servicing costs set to rocket

Both company and private car owners are facing a massive rise in servicing costs and insurance premiums because dealers and bodyshops will need to increase wages to solve the recruitment crisis.

For the company car sector, trying to recruit and hold on to technicians could lead larger fleets to re-establish their own workshops, after industry experts estimated that the shortfall of staff in bodyshops, particularly serious in the south east, could force premiums up by about 7-8% in the next couple of years.

The situation is little better for general service and maintenance technicians. According to Chris Oakham, bodyshop research consultant and AM contributor, there will be 6,000 fewer panel beaters and resprayers in 10 years' time.

He said the insurance industry had effectively capped the hourly rates it pays bodyshops for the past three years at about £22 per hour on average, when bodyshops really need to be earning £30 an hour to survive.

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