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Mitchell Report Outlines Prices of Repair Parts, Labor Rates

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Feb. 4, 2015—Prices of collision repair parts continue to rise at a steady rate, according to Mitchell’s first-quarter 2015 collision trends report.

Using listed-price data from original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts, aftermarket, and recycled parts, Mitchell found that inflation on parts in 2014 was 2.7 percentage points higher than what was seen in 2013.

According to the index, parts in general have risen 29.9 percent from 2004–2014.

Greg Horn, vice president of industry relations for Mitchell and the author of the report, surmised that some of the increase could be attributed to the shift in tastes to more expensive cars (which require more expensive parts) in addition to a slight increase in the buying power of the U.S. dollar.

“I believe this is due to the increase in the selection of ‘premium’ aftermarket parts by insurers and collision repairers,” Horn stated in the report. “Several insurers I have spoken with have altered their aftermarket guidelines to specify these premium parts, which of course cost slightly more.”

The report also found that labor rates in almost every state surveyed rose in 2014 compared to 2013. Hawaii saw the greatest increase in labor rate—a 6 percent clip. New Jersey was the only state surveyed where no change occurred in labor rate from 2013–2014.

And while OEM parts remain the most popular choice to use in repairs, their use is declining. According to the report, OEM parts represented 65.84 percent of the parts used in repairs specified by Mitchell-equipped estimators in Q4 of 2014—a 0.62 percent decrease compared to Q4 2013.

Aftermarkets parts use was at 14.51 percent in repairs in Q4 of 2014, up 0.82 percent from the same time in 2013. Listed as “non-new” parts in Mitchell’s estimating platform and reporting products, remanufactured parts represented 6.45 percent of the average gross parts dollars used in Mitchell appraisals during Q4 2014, a 0.26 relative decrease over this same period in 2013.

Recycled parts make up 13.21 percent of the average parts dollars used per appraisal during  Q4 2014, showing a 0.08 increase from Q4 2013.

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