Why Car Repair Costs Are On the Rise

As our cars are getting fancier, the repair bill is getting pricier.  According to repair estimate service CCC, the average vehicle repair bill has steadily risen every year since 2010, and is now just shy of $3,000.  Meanwhile, the head of car repair info service I-Car recently quoted an estimate of $34,000 just to fix the left front corner of a Kia K900.

The main culprit in the rising price of repairs: all of those fancy features that now come on new cars, and for good reason.  "They're all designed around one thing, and that is making the people inside that car safer," says KTRH Car Pro Jerry Reynolds.  "Does that cost more money...yes it will, and will it result in higher insurance rates?  Probably."

Most of those new safety features include very expensive technology.  "Automatic braking is one of them," says Reynolds.  "That's a big one, and I'm seeing it in more and more cars."  In fact, many automakers are pledging to make automatic braking standard on new vehicles within five years.

Even the most basic of parts are now more expensive.  "If you look at headlights today and what those things do, if you look at exterior mirrors...on a pickup especially, there are so many different ones," says Reynolds.

That's why the Car Pro recommends doing your homework on what features you want---and can afford---before buying.  "The days of just waking up and going into a car dealership and saying I want to buy a car are gone," says Reynolds.  "All of the resources are out there for people to learn and watch videos on these cars...read up on what's out there."

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