Bodyshops braced for business spike
- 1 November 2021
- Posted by: Alan Feldberg
- Category: News
Road accidents are predicted to soar in the next fortnight, after the clocks went back last weekend.
Enterprise Rent-A-Car has found that demand for its replacement cars, vans and trucks jumped by an average of six per cent for the past seven years (2014-2020) in the two weeks immediately after the clocks go back – even including last year’s significant reduction in traffic and accidents due to the lockdowns.
Meanwhile, Department for Transport data found that UK traffic was back to pre-Covid levels in the first 11 days of October this year, with the number of trucks and vans on the roads actually 13% higher than before the pandemic.
Road accidents are also more common in the winter months because of darker afternoons and evenings and poor weather conditions following the end of British Summer Time.
This year the increase in accidents could be even higher than usual, Enterprise warned, as people head back onto the road after a lengthy absence. For many, this will be their first time driving in winter conditions for two years.
As vehicle repair times are longer, this may also mean that motorists will be waiting longer to get their car back after an accident.
Stuart Sandell, head of replacement sales for the UK and Ireland at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, said: “Many people are heading back to the office, even if only for a couple of days a week, and that means they’ll be driving home in darker, more wintry conditions after the clocks go back. This autumn could be especially difficult on the road and we are advising drivers will have to take extra care. If you bought a used vehicle during lockdown that is potentially less well-maintained and lacks the latest safety equipment, or if you haven’t been driving for a while, make sure you allow extra time and plan your trip carefully.
“The vehicle repair sector is also stretched at present, with much of its technician capacity taken up. Drivers can avoid the additional risk – and a lot of stressful, expensive and time-consuming hassles – by driving with extra care and consideration.”