Kia Picanto car servicing

Kia Picanto in the garage

An annual car service could become £70 more expensive if the UK cannot reach a trade deal with the EU after Brexit, claims the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

In an independent new report commissioned from consultancy Frost & Sullivan, the SMMT says that tariffs on imported parts would cost motorists £21 a year, while quotas, customs delays and subsidies might add another £49. The average annual car service and repair bill is already over £700: a bad Brexit deal risks pushing it up further, to £777.

Why such a heavy impact? Because 4 in 5 replacement car parts are imported, and 75 percent of them come from the EU. And there are parallel risks for trade in Europe too: although the UK car parts industry is growing, tariffs on British parts sold in the EU could hit the recovering industry with a £3 billion bill in lost revenue.

The SMMT’s dire warning about the impact of no deal following Brexit shows the risks to an industry which supported almost 350,000 jobs in the UK. “Our car maintenance sector is one of Europe’s most competitive, and motorists enjoy a great choice over where they have their cars serviced,” said SMMT chief execute Mike Hawes.

“However, if we don’t secure a new trading relationship with the EU that is free of tariffs and customs checks, British consumers could face significant increases to their annual car repair bill due to new tariffs and other trade barriers.”

He is thus calling upon the government to prioritise an interim deal with the EU “that maintains single market and customs union membership until the right trade deal with the EU is implemented”.