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Bodyshop news: Bodyshop closure trend will continue

The rate at which bodyshops go into liquidation isn’t going to slow down due to the increasingly small amounts of profit to be made, according to the ABP Club.

Eight bodyshops went into liquidation in May.

David Cresswell, ABP chairman, said: “There’s not much profit to be made and it’s an insurer-dominated industry. An analogy would be that insurers are to bodyshops as supermarkets are to farmers.

There are a lot of big buyers and a lot of small sellers.”

Cresswell said UK bodyshops are averaging 3.5% net profit, or £38 profit on each repair. Bodyshops are averaging 20 repairs a week.

Over the past 10 years, the amount of bodyshops in the UK has reduced from approximately 16,000 to 4,000, with 3,000 independents and 1,000 franchised.

The ABP Club tracks bodyshops that close.

The fact so many bodyshops were struggling was a “sign of the times”, according to Cresswell.

He said: “There will still be smaller bodyshops that operate below the radar doing small repair work, but the amount of large repairs being done has massively reduced.”

Bodyshops are also facing fewer approvals from insurers, a trend seen earlier this year when Zurich overhauled its repairer network and reduced its approved bodyshops from 170 to just four.

Station Garage in Liverpool, Scratch Match in Stoke-on-Trent, Dents Plus in Thornton Heath, Surrey, Dave’s Auto Fix in Accrington, Brooks Restoration in Thame, Oxon, Chameleon Finishing in Crawley, Accident Repair Centre in Shepperton and Bedmond Caochworks in Watford all went into liquidation in May.

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