Average annual car servicing bills could jump £70 after Brexit if no trade deal is reached between the UK and the European Union, according to a new study.
Repair and service costs could increase by 10 per cent if tariffs and other barriers to trade are imposed, the report commissioned by automotive trade association the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) warned.
The research estimated a 2.5 per cent to 4.5 per cent World Trade Association tariff on imported car parts may cost the typical car owner an extra £21 a year for replacement components. Customs delays, regulatory barriers and other possible consequences of Brexit were calculated to cost an additional £49.
The UK automotive aftermarket sector, which includes parts makers, distributors, retailers and workshops, contributed £12.5 billion to the economy last year, the SMMT reported.
The organisation’s chief executive, Mike Hawes, said: “This report shows just how vital the UK automotive aftermarket is to our economy and society, supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs and keeping vehicles safe – and the country moving. Our car maintenance sector is one of Europe’s most competitive, and motorists enjoy a great choice over where they have their cars serviced.
“However, if we don’t secure a new trading relationship with the EU that is free of tariffs and customs checks, British consumers could face significant increases to their annual car repair bill due to new tariffs and other trade barriers.
“Government must now prioritise an interim arrangement that maintains single market and customs union membership until the right trade deal with the EU is implemented.”
It emerged last week that the number of cars built in the UK in June fell by almost 14 per cent as the industry continued to be affected by uncertainty over Brexit.
Almost 137,000 cars left production lines last month, 13.7 per cent down on June 2016, amid a decline in demand for cars in this country.
The SMMT reported that exports were driving production, with almost four out of five British cars shipped overseas in the first half of the year, the highest for five years.
The number of cars built in the first half of the year was down by 2.9 per cent to 866,656, with home demand down by 9.5 per cent.