Servicing a car now more expensive
Dealerships have hiked the price of annual vehicle service by 10-15 percent this year, while the wait for body panels can stretch into months.
People who have taken their cars in to get serviced this year have discovered that general price advance has not passed dealerships by.
Toyota, Lexus, Opel and Chevrolet dealer and authorized service center Amserv Auto last changed its hourly fee six months ago, with the price up 15 percent in the last year.
Mairo Romandi, head of business development for Amserv service, told ERR that the average five-year service price for a hybrid model Toyota RAV4 is €250 and that for a Corolla hybrid €243 VAT included.
"Prices have risen throughout the sector," Romandi said, adding that Amserv keeps a close eye on its competitors.
Head of service for AS Topauto Aivar Kägu said that service prices have indeed gone up as both work hours and spare parts have become more expensive. Topauto services Hyundai, Seat, Suzuki and Citroen vehicles.
"Looking at this year, I believe the hike has been around 10 percent," he said, adding that prices of aftermarket parts have grown even faster than those of OEM parts.
Käo said that the average price for a service used to be between €300-400 before the roughly 10 percent hike. That said, older cars become more expensive to maintain as time goes by because more parts need to be replaced, which is why it is difficult to pinpoint an average price.
Forss, while not an official dealership, offers service and repair work for Volkswagen, Audi, Škoda and Seat cars and imports spare parts.
Head of the company's workshop Tanel Nõmm said that while Forss has also raised the hourly fee as prices have grown across the board, the hike has been under 10 percent.
"We had not changed the prices for two years," he said. "Adding €3 or €5 to what we charge per hour would not even amount to a hike of 10 percent."
Waiting times for some parts can be very long
The representative for Topauto said they have not experienced supply difficulties on the service side of things, while waiting times have grown for body panels.
"We have been forced to wait for some parts for five months," Kägu pointed out.
The situation has not improved, even though it is to be hoped it won't get worse either, he offered.
It is possible to source second hand parts for bodywork but Kägu said that some customers prefer to wait for original parts and keep driving a dented car until they arrive.
Forss, which imports and sells various car parts, said that there have been no major supply problems and that the situation has started to improve lately.
"Talking about glow plugs, they are manufactured by a single company for all brands. It is possible that plugs that fit a particular model are in short supply. But these kinds of problems are not extensive, as plugs for other models are widely available," Tanel Nõmm said, adding that most parts can be sourced in normal time.
Services said that customers have been understanding. While there will always be those who believe everything is too expensive, people usually understand prices are going up everywhere.
"The energy side of expenses has grown so much that hiking the hourly fee is inevitable. We could not make ends meet otherwise, and customers understand as much," Kägi said for Topauto.
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Editor: Marcus Turovski