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Why a car parts crisis is costing customers time and money

“The car is on a PCP [personal contract purchase] and we’re still paying for it,” she says. “Apparently, nobody can get hold of this part. And until they can, the car is off the road. The car is now SORNed because I can’t MOT it, I can’t tax it, so I’m kind of stuck, really.

This is not a problem unique to the dealership in question, either. Becky continued: “We originally bought the car at Salisbury Audi, because we’ve got a friend who works there, and they happened to call me a couple of days ago to talk about the possibility of us taking out another PCP on another car. I explained what was happening with my current car, and that it was still stuck in Watford with no sign of the part on the horizon. So they then also tried to source the part, and they couldn’t, either.

“The guy at Salisbury told me that while cars have been holding a lot of value recently, because new cars weren’t coming through quickly enough, they’re now starting to depreciate, so my car is effectively just sitting there losing value, when there’s a dealership that wants to take it off my hands but can’t.

“Considering we’re paying hundreds of pounds a month, and the car’s off the road for the sake of a part that costs £186, it’s quite appalling,” Becky said.

According to James Baggott, editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, Becky’s story isn’t an uncommon one. He told The Telegraph: “A large number of manufacturers have been hit with parts issues to varying extents, and at Car Dealer Magazine, we’ve picked up several problems, some more acute than others.

“There has been a problem with parts across the industry since the war in Ukraine began. Many car parts were made there, and the knock-on impact of the shortages caused by that, and manufacturers having to find alternative suppliers, has caused various problems throughout the industry.

“Covid also caused many makers to cut back on production. The well-documented semiconductor chip shortage – which most cars use thousands of – caused real problems across the industry, with car makers struggling to produce cars as the chips were in short supply. That has eased now, but there are still pockets of problems with other parts across the industry. Couple these problems with the war in Ukraine, and the industry has been reeling from a series of setbacks,” Baggott continued.