Advanced driver assistance systems push up the average car repair bill

Advanced driver assistance systems push up the average car repair bill

ADVANCED driver assistance systems are causing the cost of car repairs to go up, according to a What Car? report.

Systems such as autonomous emergency braking, lane-keep assist and adaptive cruise control do make driving safer, but they’re expensive to maintain.

The reason for the expense is that Adas sensors are often housed in vulnerable areas of the car, such as behind bumpers and windscreens, meaning they’re easily damaged in accidents.

The result is that these parts are now far more expensive than they used to be. For example, a windscreen containing Adas sensors is up to 123 per cent more costly to replace than a standard one.

According to the Association of British Insurers, the average car repair bill has increased 32 per cent over the past three years to a staggering £1,678. At present, only six per cent of cars in the UK are fitted with Adas, but that figure is expected to reach 40 per cent by 2020.

What Car? received a series of quotes for replacing Adas components on various car models. Some of the highest were £1,459 for a new adaptive cruise control sensor on an Audi Q5, £1,629 for a distance sensor on a Volkswagen Touareg and £2,024 for a forward collision mitigation unit on a Mitsubishi Outlander.

Replacement parts costs were relatively high on more affordable models as well, with a new radar sensor on a Toyota C-HR costing £690 and the equivalent component on a Skoda Kodiaq coming in at £483.

Steve Huntingford, editor of What Car?, said: ‘The advanced active safety technology available on modern cars has undoubtedly helped to reduce accidents and save lives. However, in future we need improved housings for these systems and sensors that can recalibrate themselves.

‘If manufacturers don’t address these rising repair costs, many people could simply decide not to spec the latest safety kit for fear that a small mistake could land them with a huge bill, and then that kit will be of no use to anyone.’

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