Latest Technology in Cars and Repair Costs



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Please note the information in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any decisions based on this article.

New Technology in Cars and the Effect on Repair Costs

As new technology in cars continues to advance, many cars are becoming safer, smarter, and better for the planet. Innovations such as electric vehicles, improved headlights, and advanced driver assistance systems, help drivers save on fuel and prevent accidents on the road.

Unfortunately, new technology in cars can have an impact on your car repair costs. Advanced features can make your car more difficult and time consuming to fix, raising the cost of car repairs and reducing your choice of repairer.i

Why is new technology in cars so expensive to repair?

While the details behind your rising car repair costs can depend on your car’s features, there are a few main reasons why advanced technology is so expensive to repair.

Firstly, minor damage can result in major repairs.iii New technology in cars is often part of a complex system such as an Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS), or the power system of an electric vehicle. A small amount of damage to these systems can result in the need to repair, replace, or recalibrate the entire feature.

Secondly, if your car is damaged, you will often need to visit a franchise dealer or specialised mechanic in order to have it properly repaired. This is because it is often too expensive or difficult for local repair shops to invest in the training and equipment required to carry out such repairs.ii Franchise and specialised options can be more expensive than local independent repair shops, adding to the cost of car repairs.

The last reason is that obtaining repair methods and finding a repairer with the skills to repair these materials may be difficult and more expensive. Not only that, but some advanced materials such as aluminium and magnesium alloys, composites, and high strength steels can’t be repaired as easily, or even at all.ii


What new technology is driving up car repair costs?

Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS)

ADAS systems are increasingly common in new cars, especially high end or luxury models. These systems often feature a combination of smart technology, cameras, lasers and radars which help warn drivers and reduce crashes.iii Unfortunately, these components are commonly found in the areas most likely to be damaged in a minor accident —the front and rear bumper areas of vehicles. Not only that, but if anything around these components is damaged, they may also need to be recalibrated, adding to the expense.ii

Electric Vehicles

For those driving electric vehicles, a major cost factor for repairing electric vehicles is deactivating the high voltage system before it is safe to repair a vehicle. The vehicle may require towing (sometimes a considerable distance) to a specialist / manufacturer to deactivate the high voltage system and then again to reactivate the high voltage system after completion of the repairs.

Other car technologies

As well as this, other new technology in cars, such as Adaptive LED or laser headlights or advanced composite materials can cause you to come home with a bigger repair bill than expected.i For this reason, it’s important that you understand the advanced features built into a car and their impact on repair costs before you consider a purchase.

Allianz Comprehensive Car Insurance covers accidental loss or damage to your car so you can be covered for repairs to your car as well as damage you cause to other people’s cars or property*. You might not have a lot of these safety features in your car, but if you have a collision with another car, you may be responsible for covering the cost of repairs to a vehicle which does.

References

i Fleet Auto News, Repair costs ‘overlooked’ for new car technologies, accessed April 2021, https://fleetautonews.com.au/repair-costs-overlooked-for-new-car-technologies/

ii International Fleetworld, High impact: how technology is raising repair costs, accessed April 2021, https://internationalfleetworld.com/high-impact-how-technology-is-raising-repair-costs/

iii Mitchell International, New vehicles: technology impact on collision repair costs, accessed April 2021, https://www.mpower.mitchell.com/new-vehicles-technology-impact-collision-repair-costs/

* Terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply. Before making a decision on whether to purchase Allianz Comprehensive Car Insurance, please consider the PDS which is available on this website.

Disclaimer

This article has been prepared by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL 234708 (“Allianz”). Information contained in this article is accurate as at 20th May 2021 and may be subject to change. In some cases information has been provided to us by third parties and while that information is believed to be accurate and reliable, its accuracy is not guaranteed in any way. Any opinions expressed constitute our views at the time of issue and are subject to change.