Hi-tech cars pushing repair costs to record levels, insurers say

New car tech sees record high repair bills, latest quarterly motor insurance claims report finds

Hi-tech cars pushing repair costs to record levels, insurers say

The cost of fixing smart connected cars with advanced driver assistance systems has reached record levels, the Association of British Insurers has said.

Repair costs during the first quarter of 2019 reached £1.2bn, the highest level since the organisation started collecting the data in 2013.

Standard car parts such as headlights and windscreens are also becoming more expensive, with the cost of a headlamp on one popular vehicle rising by over 400 per cent, from £163 for the 2012-17 version of the car, to £840 for the most recent model.

Vehicle theft

In its latest report about car insurance costs, the association claims higher repair bills are reflecting ever more sophisticated vehicle design and technology, which in most cases costs more to repair when damaged.

The report also highlighted a rise in car crime with a 50 per cent rise in vehicle thefts over the last five years.

So far this year, the cost of theft payouts is up 22 per cent on the same period last year.

Laurenz Gerger, ABI’s motor insurance policy adviser, said: “The continued growth in car crime must be reversed.

“Car security has come on leaps and bounds but needs to keep pace with the ingenuity of car criminals.

“The rising number of theft claims being paid by insurers in part reflects the vulnerability of some cars to keyless relay theft.

“Action by motor manufacturers to tackle this high-tech vulnerability, allied with owners taking some simple, inexpensive precautions will help put the brakes on this unwelcome trend.”

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