What’s causing the long wait times on motor fleet repairs?

Car parts shortages and courtesy car unavailability are leaving drivers in limbo in 2024

By far the most common questions being put to our Claims department by clients corresponds to issues regarding motor fleets and vehicles.

There is a two year backlog on motor claims and motor repairs. The ‘busy period’ seems to be never ending; global demand persists while the importation of manufactured parts is slow and shipping costs increase.

This is having a knock on effect for garages, making wait times longer, and also affecting the availability of courtesy cars. Brokers and insurers are having to find solutions, and inform clients that their wait times could be far longer than they would expect.

Indeed, the best action any fleet manager and business can do to benefit their motor vehicles is to appoint a dedicated broker. Brokers will fight and negotiate to get the best and fastest possible resolution to your claim.

Sharon Elms, Romero Claims Department Manager, answers some of the most common questions we receive, hoping to relay any worries or doubts about your fleet repair.

Why are booking in dates for motor repairs so far apart?

“Currently we are seeing wait times between booking in dates for repairs stretching to a few months. This is because registered garages, trusted by insurers, are inundated with requests.”

The disparity between the times at local garages and those at registered garages are stark. Insurers will only use registered validated garages. Registered garages taking longer to repair cars. This is because they are struggling to source parts, and therefore cars are having to be held at the garage longer – but garages only have limited spaces so your booking in date will need to wait for a space to open up.

Why are fleet car repairs taking so long?

“There are two main reasons – Garages can’t get the parts they need. And many insurers and insurance brokers are getting slower at processing claims and repairs.”

Services, maintenance and repairs have seen a more than 57% increase in lead times – new data from Epyx reveals. This is because garages are struggling to source parts – here’s why:

Most manufactured vehicle parts are coming in internationally. This means wait times are taking longer due to a dual issue with Britain leaving European Markets, placing additional restrictions on imports, as well as inflation, increasing the cost of shipping and the individual cost of parts. Because of supply chain problems, there is a global shortage of batteries, microchips and semiconductors, essential for car computers and components. Electric vehicles are often more costly and complicated to repair, involving rarer parts – this is partly due to manufacturers prioritising sales over repairs.

Brands such as Tesla typically have more scarcity when it comes to parts such as windscreens and bodywork. Electric car brands such as Tesla also need to be sent to specialised garages. However, popular car brands such as German and Japanese brand cars are also experiencing extended wait times. Some garages are having to rely on second-hand parts for more popular brands.

“We are seeing our competitors in the industry losing staff. These staff shortages affecting both insurers and brokers, are caused by changing attitudes in the sector, as well as an increase in allowing staff to work from home. At Romero Insurance Brokers, we have an inhouse claims team featuring more than two dozen experts.”

The length of a claim very much depends on the type of claim, the model of car, your location, and who you are represented by. At Romero Insurance Brokers, we are very proud of our customer service; having won the 2023 Insurance Times Gold Award for Claims Team and Claims Achievement. Our motto is Treating Customers Exceptionally, and our clients know that through Romero Insurance they will always receive the best speedy service.

Why do I have to wait for a courtesy car?

“Many people are unfortunately struggling to gain access to a courtesy car as all the courtesy cars are being used for longer. Therefore the demand is increasing, but the number of courtesy cars themselves are not.”

Because of the delay on parts, vehicles are sitting in garages longer whilst waiting for repairs. This has a knock-on effect on demand, as wait times for spaces in garages increase. More people are in need of a courtesy car, however their availability is dwindling. At Romero Insurance we will always try to arrange for you a courtesy car, and get you back on the road and active as quickly as is possible.

How long does it take for a fleet claim to be paid out?

“The time very much varies depending on the type of claim. We always aim to have the claim paid as swiftly and promptly as possible.”

Complications may make the claim stretch on longer. We will keep you up to date on any progressions, and support you through every step.

“Car selection is critical. As is informing your drivers of safe driving methods, and scheduling vehicle maintenance effectively. However, the best way to save on fleet costs is by using a dedicated insurance broker.”

A broker who will fight for you and keep you up to date with the situation is essential for saving you money and time in the long run.

At Romero Insurance Brokers, we have our own specialist network of repairers as well as a catalogue of hire providers. Through our connections and dedication, we will ensure you are back to business as usual. We are better placed than most, and our fleet insurance services are second to none.

We also have a Romero Claims App which allows you to enter details of your accident or incident quickly and efficiently, immediately notifying our claims team. This super simple service allows you to pass your claim onto our dedicated team, who’ll handle it from start to finish.

Visit our motor vehicle and fleet insurance information for more on why it’s essential you are covered.

Important Update for Motor & Fleet Policy Holders