Auto repair costs have soared 20% in past year, with no relief in sight
If you need to get your car repaired, it may cost more than ever, according to new federal data.
The cost of motor vehicle repairs is up 19.8% for June 2023 when compared to June 2022, according to Consumer Price Index data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Heppner’s Auto Body & Glass, which runs six body shops in the metro, said both prices and wait times for repairs are on the rise.
“It’s always busy. We haven’t had a break all year long,” said Marco Galindo, manager of Heppner’s Woodbury location. “Right now, we’re pushing about two months to schedule a repair.”
He said some customers are surprised by the cost.
“This vehicle had a bumper replacement, fender replacement and door skin replacement. It’s $5,500 worth of repairs,” Galindo said. “Even a small scratch on a door or bumper, it generally starts at a thousand dollars.”
Heppner’s Vice President Laura Jacobson said there are national and worldwide factors driving up prices on the local level, from supply shortages to the cost of labor.
“Everything’s going up. The price we pay for our paint and materials, for the parts from any of the manufacturers, all that’s increased,” Jacobson said.
She also noted the growing complexity of fixing vehicles after a crash due to the evolving technology inside them.
“From the lane assists to the adaptive cruise control to the rear back-up cameras, any time that stuff gets in a collision, it has to be repaired, it has to be recalibrated and fixed back to factory settings. That stuff is going to cost you,” Jacobson explained.
She said their shops are doing what they can to keep prices as low as possible, such as shopping around more than usual for parts.
“If we can get a better deal somewhere else and they have good service, let’s switch, so part-sourcing for sure we’ve looked into that a lot,” Jacobson said.
But she said, overall, she is not confident prices will go back down in the near future.
“I don’t see them going down anytime soon, nope,” Jacobson said.