Experts are warning that the very equipment that’s meant to protect drivers is hitting them where it hurts: in the wallet. Increasingly advanced safety technology is sending car repair costs soaring.
Experts at Thatcham Research, the not-for-profit agency that works with car makers and the insurance industry, claim car repair bills have increased by 32 per cent over the last three years. The average repair bill is now £1678, says Thatcham. But what can car owners do about these increasing costs?
What’s causing car repair costs to rise?
Whiplash can be a legitimate complaint. But it’s so hard to prove there are calls to make claiming harder to cut down on fraud
Drivers can now work out exactly what their car insurance premium pays for – and it’s probably not what you think. The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has broken down the cost of premiums to show the different elements we pay for when our annual renewal is due. It wants to use the stats to encourage the government to speed up reforms which it hopes will cut the cost of cover for drivers.
By far the biggest part of our car insurance is in pay outs for personal injuries. These account for more than a third (37 per cent) of every driver’s premium. With the average driver paying £434 a year for cover, that’s £161 from every driver in the UK going on injury compensation.
Drivers have the right to choose which bodyshop repairs their car after a crash (Picture © Mazda)
The accident that revealed our car repair rights happened right outside our village school, with a crowd of parents looking on. My wife couldn’t have been more mortified: a brief lapse in concentration caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to a third party’s vehicle and our family estate car. No one was hurt but worse was to come. It incurred the wrath of the headmistress, citing the crash in the school newsletter and asking parents to walk their children to school wherever possible.
The irony is, we walk our kids to school nearly every day, come rain or shine. But one of the few times my wife needed to go on elsewhere, the accident happened. I’m glad it did. It shone a spotlight on the confusing car repair rights process that drivers face when dealing with their insurer, and highlighted the number one consumer rule of accident repairs: the policy holder has the right to choose where their car is repaired.
Halfords says it is stocking in-car dash cams to help drivers guard against ‘cash for crash’ insurance fraud (Picture © Halfords)
Increasing numbers of drivers are choosing to fit in-car cameras or ‘dash cams’ to their cars. If you don’t own one, the chances are you know someone who does, or have spotted them in other drivers’ cars. But how do you know if you should have one? And which are the best dash cams available? Continue reading
(Picture © Accident Exchange)
Sales of small cars boomed last year, increasing by as much as 16 per cent, as choice increased and British drivers warmed to cars that are affordable to run. However, finding out which are the cheapest cars to insure – one of the biggest costs of car ownership – is harder than you might think. That’s why we’ve done the homework for you and named the ten cheapest cars to insure. Continue reading
Buyers are urged to buy only EuroNCAP five-star cars such as the Volvo XC90
Drivers can’t do anything about lowering the cost of fuel, but they can drive more economically to save money. And so it is with car insurance: by law, we must all be insured, but there are proactive steps drivers can take to reduce the cost of cover significantly. That is good news, because insuring the car is estimated to make up around 15 per cent of an average driver’s yearly running costs, according to CAP Automotive, the vehicle valuation experts. Here are a dozen top tips to follow which can help reduce your insurance premium. Continue reading