The team of motoring experts at car repairs payment platform www.bumper.co.uk have calculated how much car repair labour costs could cost in 10 years’ time, after statistics from the Office for National Statistics revealed the cost of running and maintaining personal transport, including cars, has increased by 15% year-on-year.
The average mechanic’s hourly rate currently costs £60, which would quadruple to £242.73 if prices continue to increase by 15% every year. While hardly a perfect science, the alarming figures highlight how unsustainable the current rise in costs is.
Furthermore, in 10 years’ time, the 2030 ban on the production of new diesel and petrol cars will have come into effect. As such, mechanics will require a significant amount of upskilling to familiarise themselves with electric vehicles (EVs) and any necessary repairs.
A snap poll of just over 1,000 mechanics, to gauge their thoughts on EV adoption, less than one in 10 (8%) of mechanics feel properly equipped to service and repair EVs at the moment.
Additionally, mechanics were nearly unanimous in their approval of an accredited training course to prepare them for EV repair and maintenance, with 94% of respondents voting in favour of such an initiative.
In December, the Social Market Foundation (a cross-party think tank) issued a warning that Britain could run out of mechanics to service the growing number of EVs by the end of the decade, estimating a shortfall of 25,000 qualified technicians.
Such a serious shortage would almost surely drive up the cost of EV repair labour costs and research from the RAC has already found that more than a third of young drivers are intentionally neglecting vehicle repairs due to cost***, raising serious road safety concerns.
Furthermore, a study of 2,100 motorists who purchased a new diesel or petrol vehicle in the past 12 months was conducted to understand the perceptions about EVs. It was discovered that 62% of respondents harbour doubts over purchasing an EV, citing a variety of topics such as a lack of charging points around the UK, a lack of mechanics trained in EV repairs and even safety concerns.
Motorists also reported they had noticed an increase in car repair costs over the past 12 months, with 49% of drivers switching garages in pursuit of lower prices and a further 31% using buy now, pay later alternatives to help afford the burden of running and maintaining their car.
James Jackson, CEO of car repairs payment platform www.bumper.co.uk said, “It’s a very real possibility that we are looking down the barrel at a labour shortage crisis.
“If mechanics aren’t trained in electric vehicle maintenance in the coming years – an accredited training course would be the most logical solution for this – then car repair labour costs could skyrocket as a premium service, which it categorically shouldn’t be. If this becomes a reality, it will become incredibly difficult for the UK to meet its climate change goals when it comes to transport.
“What’s more alarming is that we are already seeing young motorists being priced out of repairs, with a 15% year-on-year rise no doubt contributing to one third of young drivers intentionally neglecting vehicle repairs due to cost. If only 8% of the UK’s mechanics are equipped to properly service and repair EVs, who’s to say how high the costs could rise?”