Latest headlamp technology raising concerns

Autovista Group’s car editor, Andy Cutler believes bi-xenon or LED headlamps can have a positive impact on residual values but replacement costs are potential pitfalls.

Andy suggests the top end Bi-xenon or LED headlamps will very often make a dramatic change to the appearance of the car, which can increase the residual value compared to a model with standard headlamps. However, the one downside to choosing these headlamps – the cost of replacing them.

Andy said, ‘The full LED headlamps and Laser headlamps that are available can cost a small fortune. Whilst these are currently rarer and are often only standard on more expensive premium vehicles, there is a growing trend for cars to have xenon or bi-xenon headlamps as standard, and they can cost around £1,000 in some cases to replace, and then there is the labour cost when it comes to fit them.’

Andy said this is not necessarily a headline issue at the moment as the majority of used cars do not currently have this technology fitted, but it will become more of a problem for the used car consumer as more enter the used market.

‘It may discourage owners from maintaining their cars properly because of the costs involved to replace these expensive units and could lead to more cars being written off for minor front end collisions, due to the costs involved in replacing a couple of headlamps and a front bumper,’ said Andy. ‘ There is no doubt that the latest innovation in headlight technology is a positive step to enhance safety and as long as consumers are aware of the costs involved with replacement, there will be no unwelcome surprises in the future.’