Performance Communications

Monday, 26 February 2018

The hidden costs of car safety tech

·        Latest Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) are adding significantly to the cost of car repair bills, according to What Car? report

·        ADAS sensors can increase the cost of an average windscreen repair by as much as 123%* on some models

·        Cost of average car repair bill has increased 32% over the past three years to £1,678 according to Association of British Insurers (ABI)

·        See the What Car? guide to ADAS at:

Innovative Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) fitted into the latest vehicles are important safety aids, but they are adding significantly to the cost of car repair bills, according to industry expert, What Car?.

ADAS technologies use cameras and radar sensors to help to mitigate the risk of a collision and improve driver safety. They include automatic emergency braking (AEB), lane keeping assistance, blind spot warning systems and speed limiting devices.

The sensors behind these systems prove expensive to replace and are often housed in vulnerable areas of the car, such as behind bumpers and windscreens.

That means they are causing a steep increase in the cost of replacing these traditionally cheaper parts, sometimes by as much as 123%.*

According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI), the average cost of a car repair bill has risen by 32% over the past three years to an eye-watering £1,678. With ADAS technology currently fitted to around 6% of vehicles on UK roads and expected to rise to around 40% by 2020, that cost looks set to increase even further.

If damaged sensors and other ADAS components are not repaired, they could render on-board safety systems, like lane departure warnings, useless and compromise the safety of the driver and passengers.

Among a series of quotes What Car? received for replacing sensors across models, prices reached as high as £1459 for an ACC sensor on an Audi Q5, £1629 for a distance sensor on a Volkswagen Touareg and £2024 for a forward collision mitigation unit on a Mitsubishi Outlander.

At the other end of the scale, £690 was charged for a radar sensor on a Toyota C-HR and £483 for the same part on a Skoda Kodiaq.**

Steve Huntingford, editor of What Car?, said: “The advanced active safety technology available on modern cars has undoubtedly helped to reduce accidents and save lives. However, in future we need improved housings for these systems and sensors that can recalibrate themselves.

“If manufacturers don’t address these rising repair costs, many people could simply decide not to spec the latest safety kit for fear that a small mistake could land them with a huge bill. And then that kit will be of no use to anyone.”

There are a number of vehicles on sale that don’t have ADAS sensors in their bumpers, making them cheaper to repair after a minor prang. The Honda CR-V and Volkswagen Golf, for example, have theirs behind the bonnet badge, and the Nissan X-Trail, Nissan Pulsar, Mini Countryman, Mini Hatch and Subaru XV and Impreza models have theirs in a unit behind the windscreen.

To find out more about ADAS and how it supports driver safety, visit



**Prices are inclusive of labour either at the manufacturer’s average rate or What Car?’s own average rate of £80 per hour. Prices include VAT.

About What Car?

What Car?, the UK’s leading and most trusted car buying brand, has the magazine, a market-leading website and several established brand extensions. It has helped Britain’s car buyers to make purchasing decisions for more than 40 years and its tests are widely regarded as the most trusted source of new car advice. is the UK’s leading car buying website, offering trusted reviews and data on every new car. A winner of numerous awards and accolades, is recognised as one of the UK’s leading consumer websites and attracts 1.7m unique users every month and over 13m monthly page impressions. The brand has seen major investment in its digital infrastructure as it develops a new ecommerce platform, allowing users to act on the trusted advice What Car? offers.


With a print circulation of 55,459, combined with its mobile and social reach, What Car? has more than 5.5 million monthly points of contact with its audience on the move, at work, at home and at the crucial point of sale. It is the top performing monthly on the UK newsstand in the motoring category.

For further media information please contact Performance Communications:

Natasha Perry, Sarah Wright, Andy Bothwell or Emily Hogg at Performance Communications on 0208 541 3434.,, or

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