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High tech cars to push up repair costs and car insurance premiums

Auto Express logo Auto Express 06/08/2018 alexi
RSA boss claims high tech car repairs will push up premiums © Auto Express RSA boss claims high tech car repairs will push up premiums

New cars are becoming more expensive to insure than ever before. The ever-rising levels of standard equipment mean that repairs are more costly than ever, which in turn pushes up customers’ premiums.

That’s the opinion of Steven Hester, CEO of RSA Insurance Group. Hester, whose RSA group owns More Than, says: “In the motor area, the cost of cars continues to go up as cars have more and more technology in them.”

Interior of BMW M3 Competition 2018 - an example of cars with the latest modern interiors and safety features © Autocar Interior of BMW M3 Competition 2018 - an example of cars with the latest modern interiors and safety features

Of course, while some of that added tech is due to customer demand for extra comfort and refinement, other tech has been added to reduce the risk of injury to both occupants and other road users.

So while the increase in radars, sensors and other tech makes a newer car more expensive to repair if an accident occurs, the flip side to this is that accidents are less likely to happen in the first place.

According to a study conducted by Euro and Australasian NCAP in 2015, the addition of Autonomous Emergency Braking, for example, has proven to reduce rear-end collisions in the real world by 38 per cent. With many of these systems able to detect and avoid both pedestrians and cyclists too, third party injury claims have reduced by 45 per cent relative to cars unequipped with the tech.

The cost of repairs will become more of an issue once these cars depreciate in value several years into their lives, making expensive repairs no longer economically viable. A study by the Direct Line group in 2017 shows that a car is written off once every 90 seconds in the UK.

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