UK car body repair market facing an uncertain future 

With latest forecasts showing bodyshop numbers continuing to decline, it’s imperative that insurance companies and claims solutions providers act now to implement a strategy that secures capacity in the repair supply chain for the next few years and meets the growing technological demands of safe vehicle repair.  

While it’s inevitable that repair costs will continue to rise, insurers need to act responsibly and focus their attention on ensuring there is a highly trained and qualified workforce that can meet the increasingly demands that ever-more sophisticated automotive technology brings, to ensure vehicles are repaired safely to the highest standards, whilst providing a high level of customer service.

Latest estimates predict that insurance-related repair costs will increase by a further 14% over the next five years. Forecasters emphasise that this is a somewhat conservative view, given the above-inflation increase we have seen over the past five-years. However, such above-inflationary repair cost pressures cannot continue at current rates, despite parts pricing and paint price increases, as accident damaged cars may become subject to becoming economic write-offs if the repair cost becomes too great.

The role of the Body Shop is becoming ever more important and complex

Advanced Driver-Assistance Systems (ADAS), have had a bearing on driving up repair costs. A vehicle’s integral adaptive features, such as automated lighting, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning systems, automatic lane centering, and so on, require technical repairs to be completed by highly trained staff with precise calibrated following an accident.

This also presents bodyshops with a challenge due to a skills shortage, which only adds pressure to labour costs. So it’s critical for insurers to work with their body repair partners as it’s in everybody’s interest for bodyshops to attract and retain high calibre staff to ensure that an Insurers customers gets a safe repair.

Freedom Assessors are the UK’s most Qualified & Experienced Independent Engineers, a UK based company that brings together leading professionals from the Motor Claims Management and Fleet Management sectors, whose reputation for efficient, effective and a professional service delivery is exceptional. An outstanding group of motor industry professionals who excel in both technical ability and customer skills. Delivering excellence in the provision of motor claims management and fleet management with the best possible customer experience and outcome. 

The cost of parts alone on insurance-related repairs has risen by 40% over the past five years, which presents a concern for motor insurers. New technologies in vehicle design too, including

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