Brexit cost price protection for car servicing and MOTs

Fixter, the UK’s first end-to-end online car maintenance service provider, has urged UK motorists to book their cars in now for MOT, car service and repair work to avoid potentially costly parts price rises and supply issues in the event of a No-deal Brexit. To soften the potential blow, Fixter is offering a parts cost price protection guarantee for January 2021 MOT and service bookings across its UK network, giving car owners valuable peace of mind in these uncertain times.

The No-Deal scenario, combined with the issue of the significant UK MOTs backlog is set to create an unwelcome New Year recipe of increased costs for consumers should the UK leave the European Union without a deal. The backlog of vehicles, still in the millions, comes as a result of the Government’s initial six-month Coronavirus extension. Subsequently, UK consumers are facing a potential double whammy of not being able to secure an MOT slot swiftly, as well as higher car part costs. Plus, without a valid MOT, drivers insurance policies will also become invalid, leaving them without crucial modes of transport during the pandemic.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), should the UK leave the EU without a deal, an average tariff rate of up to 4% on components can be assumed, which could cost the sector between £350m and £875m per year for the import of components, reducing the UK’s competitiveness and crucially, increasing costs for consumers. Currently, up to 50% of the UK automotive supply chain is sourced from within the EU.

Professor Jim Saker, Director of the Centre for Automotive Management at Loughborough University stated: “Brexit especially without a trade agreement offers no positive benefit to the UK car industry. The potential for prices to rise as parts and sub-assemblies are moved into and out of Europe will undoubtedly give rise to price increases. The car industry relies on a ‘Just in Time’ approach to virtually every aspect of its work and with the Government predicting problems at ports such as Dover, parts supply could easily be interrupted. With the COVID MOT backlog and Brexit the car service industry faces a perfect storm in the early part of next year.”

On the basis of assuming a 4% tariff, the increasing costs for car owners could really start to add up, even without labour costs included. A major service for a popular car such as the Vauxhall Corsa 1.2, performed at a typical UK dealer, would rise to £322 (up from £308).

Limvirak Chea, Co-Founder and CEO of Fixter, said: “The effects of a potential No-deal Brexit and additional tariffs on the UK vehicle parts supply chain, coupled with the millions of cars awaiting delayed MOTs could create the perfect storm for exponential rises in car servicing and maintenance costs. At a time when people are understandably counting every penny, we are urging UK car owners and fleet managers to book their cars in now to avoid future price rises and potential supply issues.

At Fixter, we can save British consumers money thanks to our highly qualified mechanics that deal with independent garages directly, ensuring peace of mind for our customers, knowing they are getting a fair and transparent price. As well as this, the convenience of our contactless collection and drop-off service allows them to have one less thing to worry about in these uncertain times and free them up to do the things that really matter to them.”