The hidden costs of car safety

Innovative Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) fitted into the latest vehicles are important safety aids, but they are adding significantly to the cost of car repair bills, according to industry expert, What Car?.

According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the average cost of a car repair bill has risen by 32% over the past three years to an eye-watering £1,678. With ADAS technology currently fitted to around six per cent of vehicles on UK roads and expected to rise to around 40% by 2020, that cost looks set to increase even further.

If damaged sensors and other ADAS components are not repaired, they could render on-board safety systems, like lane departure warnings, useless and compromise the safety of the driver and passengers.

Among a series of quotes What Car? received for replacing sensors across models, prices reached as high as £1459 for an ACC sensor on an Audi Q5, £1629 for a distance sensor on a Volkswagen Touareg and £2024 for a forward collision mitigation unit on a Mitsubishi Outlander.

At the other end of the scale, £690 was charged for a radar sensor on a Toyota C-HR and £483 for the same part on a Skoda Kodiaq.

Steve Huntingford, editor of What Car? said, ‘The advanced active safety technology available on modern cars has undoubtedly helped to reduce accidents and save lives. However, in future we need improved housings for these systems and sensors that can recalibrate themselves.

‘If manufacturers don’t address these rising repair costs, many people could simply decide not to spec the latest safety kit for fear that a small mistake could land them with a huge bill. And then that kit will be of no use to anyone.’

To find out more about ADAS and how it supports driver safety, visit