The conversation has returned to repair volumes with some bodyshops reporting a significant drop in the number of notifications – so what does the data tell us?

Paul Sell, Director, Trend Tracker, provides this update:

“This very topic has been discussed in the last two months, across the industry, with March volumes being much lower than expected, but April bounced back.

“2024 YTD (April) has seen 2% more repairs than the same period in 2023, so very similar volumes, but with a very different pattern e.g. fewer working days in March 2024 which was a contributor to less repairs.

“However, there are many factors at play which Trend Tracker are watching carefully – Insurance costs, excess values, age of car parc, number of cars on road, retail repair demand, total loss trends and of course new capacity in the market.

“It is possible that some customer behaviour at play with insurance costs and excess values being higher, but there are not less cars on the road, people are not driving less, by default there shouldn’t be less accidents. There is, though, an older car parc, there is a higher write-off rate of Electric Vehicles which represent more of the car parc than last year and a cost-of-living crisis hangover which may mean customers could live with some damage, or seek to get retail work done.

“The greatest impact must be new capacity with Trend Tracker reporting in the last report c150 new sites YTD in 2024, which together with reducing lead times has created new capacity.”

In summary, said Paul, the trend is “similar repair volumes, but increased available capacity, suggesting a similar amount of work is being completed by more sites, therefore feeling for some like a drop in work.”


Written based on data and insight as of April 2024.