Survey suggests a spike in total loss numbers

Rising repair costs and a change to consumer habits and attitudes are expected to result in a spike in total losses.

Nearly eight out of 10 (77%) respondents to the second Great British Motor Claims Survey said they thought total losses would rise in the future, with only eight per cent expecting them to decrease going forward.

According to the survey, published by ILC/ARC360, the over-riding factor behind a surge in total loss numbers in the greater use of technology within vehicles driving up repair costs.

However, respondents also suggested that a lack of aftermarket skills could see more vehicles written off as repairers seek to avoid costly mistakes, while delays in parts supply and higher salvage values could also have an effect.

Another possible factor put forward by respondents is a consumer shift away from car ownership, reducing their inclination to repair.

But not everyone agreed total losses would rise. Some suggested that ADAS and fewer miles being driven in the future would reduce the number of accidents, therefore reducing total loss numbers.

One respondent said, ‘ADAS will drive down high speed/high impact collisions, so technically there should be a decrease in total losses. But given the increased repair costs due to technology, more could vehicles be written off.’

They continued, ‘I think it will depend on vehicle values. We know there has been an increase in used car prices, but could that reverse if more cities introduce clean air zones?’

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