Car repair costs on the rise

Reporter: Lindsey Sablan
Published: Updated:

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Now more than ever, a breakdown can make you go broke.

Repairs are 3 to 7 percent more expensive than they were three years ago, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. That’s partly because of the material used to build cars.

The popular Ford F-150 pickup recently switched from a steel body to an aluminum body, making it lighter and more efficient — and costlier to fix. Not all auto body shops are certified for aluminum repair.

Electronic gadgets and other optional features also drive up bills.

“If you have a car that has the backup sensors or a park assist, all those are expensive,” said Dave Polsfuss, who manages Absolute Collision Center of Fort Myers. “If you have to put a sensor in it because you had an accident, a sensor is $150, maybe $200 per sensor.”

Newer technology also means some repair jobs take longer. Replacing a bumper can take anywhere from one to four hours more than it did five to 10 years ago, Polsfuss said.

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