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Car retailers’ bodyshops to experience influx of repairs in March, says AX

Vehicle repairer at work in a car body shop

Car retailers with body shop facilities could cash-in next month as March tops the rankings of the year’s busiest for vehicle repairs and preparation, AX has reported.

March is set to be one of the busiest months of the year for retailers and bodyshops as new data shows the evening rush-hour is responsible for nearly one in five accidents.

The research from AX, the leading provider of accident assistance to the automotive trade, also revealed a 10-minute spike in winter prangs, bumps and scapes between 17:00 and 17:10, highlighting the need for accident aftercare services after hours to help capture valuable bodyshop work during peak times.

This February already saw snow and ice cause chaos on Britain’s roads, and more is to be expected as March is second only to November as the busiest for car-to-car incidents.

Top Five types of winter road crashes

Hit in rear


Hit whilst parked


Third party pulled in front of car


Third party reversed into stationary car


Lane Change



This March could see more than 193,000 road accidents take place, according to AX research. Both November and March are among the wettest months of the year.

“With the downward pressures on new car sales, being in a position to proactively and sensitively support existing customers in a time of need is common-sense,” says Scott Hamilton-Cooper, sales and operations director at AX. 

“The March spike provides a timely reminder that dealers without an accident assistance programme not only stand to lose valuable repair work, but risk losing customers altogether.”

The analysis of over 57,000 vehicle accidents managed by AX on behalf of its automotive and insurance industry partners shows that the evening commute between 16:00 and 18:00 accounts for nearly a fifth of incidents on any given day. Almost one in six prangs happen in the 10-minute period starting at 5pm.

Share of accidents across the day

00:00 - 02:00


02:00 - 04:00


04:00 - 06:00


06:00 - 08:00


08:00 - 10:00


10:00 - 12:00


12:00 - 14:00


14:00 - 16:00


16:00 - 18:00


18:00 - 20:00


20:00 - 22:00


22:00 -24:00





The afternoon school-run period between 14:00 and 16:00 was found to be the second-busiest period for accidents. Within the two-hour period, nearly-one-in five accidents took place between 15:00 and 15:10 – around the time most parents are rushing to pick up their children from school.

With 34% of accidents involving one car hitting the rear of another, a further 31% of incidents actually involve a moving car hitting a parked one as the driver loses control

Hamilton-Cooper, said: “Braking distances double in the wet and can be up to 10 times longer in snowy or icy conditions, so it’s not surprising that almost a third of the accidents we’ve dealt with are the result of a driver losing control and hitting a parked vehicle.

“Workshops and bodyshops should make sure they are adequately stocked with spare parts and staffed well to deal with the surge in repair requests.”

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