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How new technology in cars can increase your repair costs

Last updated on 21 April, 2022

Automotive technology continues to advance, making cars safer, smarter and better for the planet.

Innovations, such as electric vehicles improved headlights and Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), 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. According to Thatcham Research, advanced safety features can make your car more difficult and time consuming to fix. This can raise the cost of car repairs and reduce your choice of repairer. Since we’re behind you for what’s ahead, we’ve decided to take a closer look.

Whilst car repair costs depend on your car’s features, there are three main reasons why advanced automotive technology is so expensive to repair:
New technology in cars is often part of a complex system, such as an 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.
It’s often too expensive or difficult for local repair shops to invest in the training and equipment required to carry out such repairs. Franchise and specialised options can be more expensive than local independent repair shops, adding to the car repair costs.
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.

Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS)

ADAS technologies 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 that help warn drivers and reduce crashes. 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. If anything around these components is damaged, they may also need to be recalibrated, further adding to the expense.
For those driving electric vehicles, a major cost factor of repair is deactivating the high voltage system in the vehicle before it is safe to repair. The electric vehicle may need towing to a specialist or manufacturer to deactivate the high voltage system and then again to reactivate after the repairs are completed.

Other new technology in cars, such as adaptive LED or laser headlights, or advanced composite materials can lead to a bigger repair bill than expected. 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’re covered for repairs to your car, as well as damage you cause to other people’s cars or property*. You might not have these safety features in your car, but if you have a collision, you may be responsible for covering the cost of repairs to a vehicle which does.

Disclaimer

This article has been prepared by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL234708 (“Allianz”). 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. Neither Allianz, nor its employees or directors give any warranty of accuracy or accept responsibility for any loss or liability incurred by you in respect of any error, omission or misrepresentation in this article.

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