INDUSTRY STATS: Average Total Cost of Repairs Up… But Not by Much

The average total cost of vehicle repairs in 2010 was $2,426, according to CCC Information Services. That’s about a 1 percent increase compared to 2009. but still down from 2008 and only about even with 2007.

What’s kept the cost of repairs essentially flat for three years?

Labor rates rose only modestly from 2009 to 2010; the national average body/paint labor rate was up just 1.5 percent in 2010 from the previous year. But Audatex reported nearly a 1-hour drop in the average number of labor hours per estimate last year. And perhaps the biggest factor is the shift toward more use of alternative parts; new OEM parts accounted for about 65 percent of all dollars spent on parts in 3Q 2010, compared to almost 68 percent in the same quarter a year earlier.