CarMD Survey Shows Hybrid Repair Costs at Both Ends of Scale

by Jon LeSage

  • How are hybrid elec­tric vehi­cle repair costs going for con­sumers? Depends on what type of work you’re talk­ing about.
  • Basic repairs that show up on “check engine” lights are going up – $367.84 was the nation­al aver­age in 2012 – and was 10% high­er than in 2011. This comes from a new Car­MD sur­vey on repair costs across the US.
  • The East Coast had high­er num­bers than rest of coun­try, espe­cial­ly in New Jer­sey, were cus­tomers were pay­ing an aver­age of $392.99 for repairs last year. That may have had some­thing to do with Hur­ri­cane Sandy and the dis­rup­tion in parts inven­to­ry sup­ply, which can have dri­ven up prices.
  • That argu­ment could be thrown away by anoth­er trend found in the study – New Jer­sey had the nation’s low­est cost for big repair jobs like hav­ing the hybrid bat­tery pack replaced. The storm destroyed thou­sands of vehi­cles and forced a lot of car own­ers to bring their cars in for repair. That jump in demand could have tem­porar­i­ly brought down repair prices. Who knows? The Hur­ri­cane Sandy argu­ment might have noth­ing to do with the prices in New Jer­sey – 2013 num­bers will reveal more. Hybrid pen­e­tra­tion has been rel­a­tive­ly high in New Jer­sey, which could explain some of this pric­ing trend.
  • New Jersey’s hybrid bat­tery replace­ment costs were less than half what they were in at least one oth­er state. In New Jer­sey, cus­tomers paid an aver­age of $2,005.05 to have their hybrid bat­ter­ies replaced. In Ari­zona, it cost $4,409.94 to have bat­ter­ies replaced.
  • Over­all, the cost of hybrid own­er­ship is get­ting bet­ter for con­sumers; the Car­MD study showed con­sumers are pay­ing less for full repair nation­wide and not just in New Jer­sey. For deal­ers, hybrids can be a win-win for sales and ser­vice, if sales and ser­vice pric­ing is com­pet­i­tive and prof­itable.


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