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.