soon savings to be expected at the garage?

For motorists, the car bill continues to increase. While fuel prices remain at a historically high level, they are also subject to a continuous increase in the bill at garages. Second-hand spare parts are indeed far too often abandoned. For visible parts, however, things could change next year, with the key to lower auto insurance rates.

Rising cost of repairs

According to the SRA association (Security and Automotive Repair), the price of repairs has increased on average by 4.2% last year year on year. Inflation nevertheless more measured than in 2020 (+6.7%, compared to 2019). That year, the price of spare parts had largely contributed to inflation, since it alone had risen by more than 8% (against +3% for labour).

Moreover, the current crisis in the automotive industry does not help matters. The now well-known problem of transporting semiconductors continues to weigh on production delays, and therefore spare parts as well.

After a year 2021 barely better than 2020, despite an ebb from the Covid-19 pandemic, the French automobile market has indeed continued to plummet since January. Over the first two months of the year, the cumulative fall in the number of registrations was nearly 16% in view of an already gloomy 2021.


Slower production of parts

It should therefore be borne in mind that the current level of marketing of new vehicles has reached historic lows. Not since the oil shocks of the 1970s has the market fallen below the fateful mark of 1.7 million units soldas has been the case for the past two years.

To this slowdown in production chains, we must add a very limited application of a law that has been in force since January 1, 2017. For more than five years now, garage owners have been required to offer motorists at least one quote with used parts.

However, it seems that the choice between new and reused parts is rarely offered to customers. And for good reason: with a price up to 50% cheaperthese quotes represent a smaller margin for garages.

A law of 2017 little applied

Recently, the 1 p.m. newspaper on France 2 conducted the investigation: a journalist was looking to change his rear bumper. New, the spare part is announced at 533 euros (without paint) in a dealership. In the second garage, the same second-hand part is displayed at half price. But it is in a car scrapyard, finally, that the best price is found: 92 euro, with a one-year parts and labor warranty.

Results: according to the SRA association, only 3% of spare parts reimbursed by insurers were recycled parts in 2020. A far too low proportion when you consider how badly the portfolio of policyholders has been abused lately. In addition, in an ecological logic, the mobilization of second-hand parts should also be favored.

Ultimately, the generalization of this practice would also have a positive influence on the price of car insurance. We know that a car fleet that is more expensive to repair is also more expensive to insure: since 2010, with the mass arrival on the market of electric cars that are more equipped with cutting-edge technology, car insurance premiums have climbed 16%.

The hope of the end of the monopoly on visible coins

Will the situation change from January 1? We might be entitled to hope so. On this date, car manufacturers will see their exclusivity rights on visible spare parts (headlights, windshield, bumpers, etc.) partly abolished.

Equipment manufacturers “independent” They too will be able to sell these parts and charge better prices in a market that lacked competition. However, equipment manufacturers “officials” will still retain an exclusive right for 10 years (compared to 25 years today).

Moreover, it is not certain that the savings will come immediately, while the market is structured around these new players. The initial version of this law – presented by a member of the majority – had in any case been designed to reduce the car budget of households, and, ultimately, the weight of car insurance contributions. On average, a French person spends 500 euros per year in replacement parts. To be reimbursed at best for this expense, you can go through a comparator.

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