24 Jun, 2024

Long wait times for car repairs become the ‘new normal’ amid calls for more auto workers

When Nathan Woodrow’s car was damaged in an accident last August, he didn’t think it would take close to a year to have it fully back to normal.

“The whole front needed repairing,” he said.

While the bulk of the work was finished by January, an issue with the headlights and bonnet paint caused a delay.

“In that time I moved to Toowoomba [from Brisbane],” Mr Woodrow said.

“I went back and forward with the insurer … and in April they contacted me again and I was finally able to get it booked in for mid-August,” he said.

a man stands next to a car with the bonnet up

Mr Woodrow was surprised by how long it took for his car to be fixed.(ABC Southern Qld: Tobi Loftus)

Mr Woodrow said local repairers told him the delay was just due to a “huge” backlog in cars needing repair work done.

“I’m happy to wait. I can drive my car as it only needs a minor rectification,” he said.

“But it’s just absolutely crazy that I’ve got to wait so long for my car to be 100 per cent fixed after an accident.”

Up to ‘four times’ more work

Greg McGuire, owner of Powers Smash Repairs in Toowoomba, likes

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Ontario car dealerships are gouging customers: survey

When you buy a car, you’ll be offered warranties, rust protection and other add-ons you can usually accept or decline.

However, a new survey by Car Help Canada, a non-profit group that provides assistance to customers buying cars, finds that some car dealers are forcing customers to buy add-ons, and if they don’t, the dealer will refuse to sell them the car.

“Many dealerships are price gouging consumers charging them excessive fees and forcing them to pay for add-on products they don’t necessarily want or need,” said Shari Prymak, executive director of Car Help Canada.

The Canadian Car Buyers Survey asked 1,500 adult Canadians who purchased a car within the past two years about their car buying process.

Thirty-seven per cent of new car buyers said they were forced to pay a mark-up over the Manufactured Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) and 85 per cent of those profit mark-ups ranged from $1,000 to over $10,000.

Some of the options customers were forced to buy included extended warranties, paint protection, tinted windows, key fob insurance, rust protection, tire and rim protection and VIN etching.

According to the survey, some dealers told customers they had to pay for the add-ons or they couldn’t

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Tax Season Should Bring Peak Wholesale Used-Car Values

Tax refund season has begun, which usually results in the annual peak for wholesale used-vehicle values.

Anticipating that demand, dealer business picked up in late February, according to the latest Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index. Manheim says dealers should be aware tax refund/spring selling season for used cars is getting under way.

Averaged out over the entire month of February, wholesale used-vehicle values ​​were virtually flat for the third consecutive month, comparing December 2023, January 2024 and February. Manheim says price stability is welcome, but values ​​were still lower than a year ago.

The Manheim Index for February, which was published March 7, was 203.8. For December and January, it was 204. However, the February Manheim Index was down 13.1% vs. a year ago. The Manheim Index has been below the year-ago month for 18 consecutive months, according to Manheim data.

The seasonally adjusted average used car price was $18,645 in February 2024. That was down 13.1% from $21,452 in February 2023, Manheim says.

Analysts say used-vehicle values ​​are down in part because of the recovery in new-vehicle availability, along with an increase in new-vehicle factory incentives. That’s drawing well-qualified buyers back to new vehicles.

During the height of the

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Fisker Ocean called ‘inexcusable’ in Consumer Reports review

Fisker Ocean called ‘inexcusable’ in Consumer Reports review | Automotive News

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Car Deals Are Easier to Find but Lenders Are Tightening Their Terms

New cars are more available this spring, and manufacturers have even begun offering deals to interested buyers.

But at the same time, lenders have been tightening the terms of car loans as they deal with a rising number of delinquencies. That has made it harder for some people to get affordable loans.

Access to auto loans for both new and used cars was generally worse in January than in December and down year over year, according to Dealertrack, a Cox Automotive service that tracks credit availability based on factors like loan approvals, terms and down payments. The impact was seen at banks, credit unions and dealerships.

“We are seeing credit access tighten in all channels,” said Sean Tucker, a senior editor at Kelley Blue Book, Cox’s car research and sales website.

Subprime borrowers in particular — consumers with the lowest credit scores — may face challenges finding financing, Mr. Tucker said. The share of subprime new-car loans has fallen to about 6 percent, roughly half what it was before the pandemic.

Borrowers with strong credit are especially attractive to lenders. The average credit score for new-car shoppers taking out a loan or lease rose to 743 at the end of

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Dan Sale announces retirement, Sale Auto Mall under new ownership — Neuse News

Dan Sale, the owner of Sale Auto Mall in Kinston, has announced his retirement and the subsequent sale of the dealership. Established in 1986, Sale Auto Mall has been a significant player in the local automotive industry. The business includes BMW, Kia, Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Ford, and a wide variety of certified used vehicles.

“We are selling to another family auto group, the Deacon Jones Auto Group from the Smithfield/Goldsboro area,” said Sale. “It was important for us to have another family group take over. They will take good care of my wonderful 100 plus employees.”

The next chapter for Sale is a future business called Sale Land and Sea Collectibles, which will feature classic cars, motorcycles and boats. It will be located near Lowes.

“I have the building, but it will remodel before we officially open,” said Sale. “I need to take a break first.”

This period of transition is a family affair. Cathy Sale, Dan Sale’s wife, is also set to retire in February. Her retirement aligns with the shift in their professional lives, marking the end of an era for the Sale family in the automotive dealership industry and the beginning of a new chapter with Sale

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UAE used car prices see sudden sharp increases – will buyers have to delay their plans?

But in general, the availability of these vehicles has come down from other sourcing points as well, they add.

What it means for potential buyers is that they will end up paying 10-30 per cent higher on their model choice than if a similar deal had been made in October or November. Throw in the higher insurance rates they need to pay on their vehicles – many used car vehicle sellers are not offering free insurance perks – and the cost of ownership has jacked up quite a bit.

For the UAE’s secondhand car dealerships, it all adds up to a most unfortunate set of circumstances. “It’s even tougher because we are still uncertain when the shipments will come in,” said Hamid Shah, CEO of The4x$.com dealership network. “When we have that uncertainty on top of the struggle to source vehicles, it makes for a big impact on the used car trade.”

In each of the last two years, sales of pre-owned vehicles in the UAE were on a tear, with many industry sources saying they have not seen a similar demand rush ever. So much so, during the peak phase of 2021-22, prices of used cars that were 6

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Mis-sold car finance scandal: could you be due compensation?

Missold car finance

Don’t worry, Auto Express isn’t about to join the bandwagon of claims-management firms advertising on social media and elsewhere, using well-known statements to get their claws into a share of any payout you – and millions of others – may one day be entitled to as a result of a ‘mis-sold’ car finance agreement.

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At issue are finance agreements including a non-disclosed Discretionary Commission Agreement between your lender and your dealer, allowing the latter to secretly tweak interest rates for more or less commission. DCAs were banned in 2021, but were commonplace before that, especially in the franchised/prime used-car sector.

Complainants say that dealers raising rates behind customers’ backs to earn extra commission was an unfair practice. They want customers to be compensated for any additional interest paid out, a view backed by two recent decisions by the Financial Ombudsman, which is sided with a pair of complainants claiming just that.

When you look at the numbers, it’s no surprise that so many claims-management firms want a slice of a future compensation pie. Around £40billion is lent on car finance every year in the UK and, after financial advice website Money Saving Expert launched its

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Renault expects ICEs, EVs to best sell side-by-side for decade

GENEVA — The Renault brand will probably continue to offer internal-combustion vehicles alongside a separate lineup of full-electric cars for the next 10 years, CEO Fabrice Cambolive said.

Renault Group CEO Luca de Meo in early 2022 said that the Renault brand would be selling only EVs in Europe by 2030 — ahead of the EU’s zero-emission mandate in 2035 — but he has also said that the pledge is dependent on market conditions. Demand for EVs in Europe remains high, but the rate of adoption has slowed in recent months, raising questions about the willingness of consumers to continue to pay higher prices for battery-powered vehicles.

Renault is building out its lineup to have full-electric offerings in every segment, with the Renault 5 small car its latest addition. It will complement the petrol-powered Clio, Europe’s No. 2-selling small cars in 2023.

“Our strategy is to have ‘two legs’ in every segment — an ICE [internal-combustion engine] lineup with hybrid technology and a full-electric vehicle,” Cambolive told Automotive News Europe at the auto show here on Monday.

Renault’s main rivals in Europe are taking different approaches to the EV transition. Stellantis brands such as Citroen, Opel and Peugeot offer combustion

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History Repeats Itself As Automakers Strike Deal With Independent Repair Facilities To Provide Access to Telematics Data

The Alliance for Automotive Innovation, a trade association representing US automakers and other manufacturers, announced on July 11, 2023 that it had entered into an agreement with trade associations representing independent repair facilities affirming the continued vitality of a 2014 agreement on automotive right-to- repair issues and declaring that “independent repair facilities shall have access to the same diagnostic and repair information that auto manufacturers make available to authorized dealer networks.”

In the original 2014 Memorandum of Understanding, automakers agreed to make repair tools and information available for vehicles available to the aftermarket on fair and reasonable terms, and committed to equip vehicles commencing in model year 2018 with a non-proprietary onboard diagnostic interface to provide access to vehicle diagnostic and repair information systems. The recently-announced 2023 Automotive Repair Data Sharing Commitment reaffirms this commitment, and prohibits OEMs from using telematics systems to “circumvent” the aftermarket access that was promised in the 2014 MOU. If specific telematic diagnostic and repair data is needed to complete a repair, and also provided to an OEM’s authorized dealers, the manufacturer must make the same information available to vehicle owners and independent repair facilities “if it is not otherwise available through a tool or

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