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Why Is Auto Body Repair So Expensive?

One of the questions that many auto body repair shops in South Jersey receive these days is why the cost of accident repair is so expensive. Many customers get sticker shock, especially if they have never had to get extensive repairs on their vehicle done before. There are several reasons why auto body repair comes with an eye-popping price tag, like technology. Throughout the years, vehicles have become more difficult to repair because they have more pieces.

Collision repair is a multi-step process that includes some of the following things as steps:

  • Removing the trim
  • Stripping
  • Sanding
  • Priming the auto body
  • Paint – multiple coats
  • Wet sanding
  • Finishing clear coat

As you can see, a lot goes into collision and auto body repair, and that does not even consider the structural or mechanical work that needs to be completed. It is never just an easy fix.

Here are some other reasons why getting your car repaired after an accident can be costly:

More Electrical Components

Sensors, cameras, and other tiny electrical components can be found throughout the whole body of modern cars. While a sensor might not cost much, in the event of a collision, multiple sensors will need to be replaced, and that can hike up the bill. Other more mundane electronics like headlights can be expensive. Some LED daytime running headlights or xenon lights can cost thousands!

If your vehicle is a luxury or sports model or even something exotic, you will have to pay even more, because the bodies are complex and unique to the manufacturer’s design.

Another feature that has significantly impacted the cost of accident repair is the Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS). Even more basic models are being fixed with an ADAS system to help drivers with parking assist, lane departure warnings, auto braking technology, and collision warnings. These systems are extensive, so in the aftermath of an accident, it takes a lot of time to replace or repair and re-calibrate the whole thing.

Body-on-Frame vs. Unibody

What seems like ages ago is when automobiles were built using body-on-frame construction. This means that the outer body of the corner was placed over a strong, sturdy frame. Anything else was purely cosmetic. Some trucks and SUVs continue to use body-on-frame construction, but most modern vehicles use something called unibody construction.

In other words, the vehicle’s body is not separate from the frame. The whole body has important structural elements. For example, even the windshield has been crafted to prove strength and structure. The downside is that many unibody vehicles receive what looks to be superficial damage but is, in reality, much more extensive and expensive to repair.

Many manufacturers also have a recommended method of dealing with cars that depends on the make, model, and even the month the vehicle was produced. This means that the mechanics have to receive specific training and use specialized tools and materials, like foams, sealants, and waxes, to maintain quality.

Safety Parts

Thanks to advancements in technology, cars are safer and faster than ever. The security is heightened in part of components that are called “sacrificial.” Think about the last time you got a fender bender or saw one happen. Even if the collision was minor, the bumper probably looked terrible.

It is part of the safety system, but it can also lead to bumper replacement, which can cost a lot of money, depending on the damages. However, if an airbag deploys, that is even more expensive. So, some items are meant to neutralize damage by crumpling more easily. Either way costs you (or your insurance company) money, though.

The Cost of the Auto Body Shop

Lastly, it is not just the job itself but some factors revolving around the service itself. Auto body repair shops are going to charge you more because they need to spend more for the supplies, the paint, and the electronic components now than they did in the past. The cost of vehicle paint alone is exorbitant.

The auto body shop also deals with fees for waste disposal, pollution, and needs to adhere to environmental regulations. Most mechanics also have to use certified materials from manufacturers. Every little thing has a cost that is factored into the overall price of collision repair.

Looking for Collision Repair Services?

If you have been wondering why the cost of auto body repair seems to be getting more and more expensive, your eyes are not fooling you. Unlike older automobiles, the cars, trucks, and SUVs of today are safer, more energy-efficient, lighter, and more elegant than ever before. In turn, they are more difficult to service and repair after an accident.

After a collision, such a financial burden may seem extreme, but you can find excellent mechanics with more affordable estimates near you with a little research. Why not get in touch with us? Fill out the contact form and someone will reach out. We can help you get your vehicle back to normal in no time.

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