Number of UK bodyshops falls by a third in last decade, says Trend Tracker
20 February 2015
Author: Daniel Puddicombe
The number of car body repair workshops has fallen by 32% over the last 10 years.
That's according to research company Trend Tracker, which is predicting a further 9% decline by 2020 to 3020 workshops.
Trend Tracker said that with an expected 2% increase in the number of repairs, it will create an 11% shortfall in repair capacity by 2020, which it said could frustrate customers and increase insures' costs.
Insurance companies finance 70% of all accident repairs. According to the research, the fall in the number of accident repairs since a peak in 2006 has led to a number of 'shop closures.
Trend Tracker suggested that a repairer is making just 86p per hour per repair, based on the average insurance accident repair cost of £1380.
"As recently as 2004 there was a repair capacity excess of nearly 50%. Insurers were spoilt for choice in terms of who to give work to and could dictate terms. The increasing repair capacity deficit will put quality bodyshops in a much stronger position to secure a better deal from insurers," said Robert Macnab, lead analyst at Trend Tracker.
"We will see more repairers renegotiating or simply rejecting the least profitable insurance contracts, particularly where there is an open-ended obligation for them to provide courtesy cars at their own expense. The hourly labour rate is also likely to rise, further denting insurers' profits," said Macnab.