Brexit ‘could see massive rise in cost of car servicing’

Brexit ‘could see massive rise in cost of car servicing’

FAILURE to reach a post-Brexit agreement to protect free trade could lead to a massive rise in the cost of vehicle parts and servicing, according to an online car servicing provider’s investigation.

Enfield-based Servicing Stop, which has 1,500 garages in its network and carried out the investigation, says the automotive industry is already fearing a post-Brexit Britain and the possible impact on the cost of vehicle production. It says the car servicing and repairs market will be the first to suffer from the divorce between Britain and Europe, as 80 per cent of all parts in British cars are imported from overseas, amounting to £12 billion.

Every vehicle is made up of thousands of components, each of which can potentially cross our border with Europe up to five times as they proceed through the various stages of the car manufacturing process, said the firm. These manufacturing stages take place in a number of locations throughout the continent, and should a tariff be imposed post-Brexit, the cost of car servicing and repairs would become unaffordable to thousands of people.

Should trade restrictions come into force following Brexit, 10 per cent tariffs could be imposed on all exports and imports, which, according to a PA Consulting report, could add as much as £2,370 to the cost of every car sold in the UK. As the cost of production rises, the price of individual parts will go through the roof, said Servicing Stop.

Oly Richmond

Oly Richmond

Chief executive and founder Oly Richmond said: ‘Of the £15 billion-worth of components in British cars, only £3 billion are produced in this country. This means 80 per cent of parts are currently imported which, without free trade, will put an end to cheap services and affordable repairs.

‘There is now a massive risk in the industry, a fear that production will potentially move offshore as a way of avoiding tariffs, and the implication on UK servicing providers would be massive. A trade agreement is vital in order to preserve the supply chain to the automotive industry and to allow our company, among others, to continue to provide affordable rates and prevent car ownership from becoming a luxury.’

The entire industry, including manufacturers and servicing providers, is backing a trade agreement in a bid to preserve free trade and prevent production costs increasing by thousands of pounds per vehicle.

Richmond added: ‘The British automotive aftermarket is wholly dependent on the free movement of car parts across borders, and any change could severely disrupt our global supply chain. Post-Brexit tariffs would increase the cost of car parts, which would subsequently increase the cost of car servicing and repairs. Car ownership could become unaffordable for a lot of people.’

He said: ‘The entire industry is in agreement when it comes to the importance of free movement of goods post-Brexit. A trade agreement is the only way in which the aftermarket can thrive and provide the best value to British motorists.’

Main picture: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire/PA Images

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