Auto repair backlogs continue as shops grapple with labor shortages and scarce parts

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Auto collision repair backlogs, first seen this summer, are not improving and will likely continue into next year, according to a new report from CCC Intelligent Solutions.

CCC said 85% of body shops that use its technology say they plan new work in two weeks or more. The share of stores that reported at least some backlog and the average wait time remain at the highest level seen in the past six years, the report said.

CCC data shows that wait times for repairs, which previously averaged about two weeks, rose to more than three weeks in the third quarter of 2021 and climbed to four weeks and stayed there throughout. long of 2022.

Labor shortages and parts availability are to blame, according to the CCC. The total number of crash technicians fell to about 153,000 in 2020 from 160,000 in 2016, according to TechForce Foundation data released last year.

Auto shops are coping with labor shortages by offering higher wages and additional benefits. Still, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects only 3% annual growth in the number of auto body and glass repairers from 2021 to 2031, compared to 5% growth for all occupations, the CCC said.

Auto repairs also take longer as new cars are increasingly complex and parts deliveries are frequently delayed. The number of hours repair technicians actually worked on cars in their repair shops fell to 2.2 hours a day in the first quarter of 2022, from 3.7 hours in the same period of 2017, according to the CCC report.

Fewer working hours per day means the car spends more time in the workshop without any work being done.

Consumers are also taking longer to report automobile claims to insurers. CCC said the average report for a loss while the car was still drivable was 8.6 days in the first nine months of 2022, compared to 7.8 days in the same period of 2019. non-driving losses, the average report was made in 4.4 days for the first nine months of this year, compared to 3.9 days for 2019.

The time elapsed between the accident and the assessment also increased. The CCC said ratings for driving claims increased to an average of 8.8 days in the first nine months of 2022, from 4.8 days in the same period of 2019. Ratings for non-driving claims took an average of 5.4 days this year compared to 3.9 days. in 2019.

“These trends will continue into 2023, making it even more important to understand market conditions, vehicle repair requirements and where to invest in training and tools,” the CCC report states.

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