Costs the key concern for under-pressure repairers

Rising costs have been identified as the most significant challenge for bodyshops this year.

According to the Motor Ombudsman’s annual survey of independent garages and franchise dealer workshops, 75% identified operational costs, taxes and energy bills as their main concern.

With 58% also expecting to have to pay more for parts, more than half (54%) said they would have to raise their own prices to remain viable.

This comes at a time when customers are already putting off work on their cars, with 54% of respondents expecting drivers to delay essential repairs in order to save money.

Meanwhile 58% said recruiting technicians would be a serious challenge, up from 56% last year, although 52% said they would try to expand their workforce this year.

Bill Fennell, managing director of The Motor Ombudsman, said: “Our latest study presents a clear picture in that garages and workshops will still have to contend with a number of underlying challenges this year, with rising costs one of the most pertinent, as this ultimately affects their bottom line. This will need to be balanced with the need to remain competitive in order to deliver an attractive proposition to motorists, at a time when household budgets remain under strain.”