When you bring your car in for any kind of work other than an oil change, you’re likely going to have to leave it for at least one day and often longer. This of course means finding another way to get to work and to run errands. Even in a multiple-car household, the most convenient option is usually going to be getting a rental car. Here is how to predict how long you’re going to need that rental.
Rental Car Trends
The average length of a car rental is now up to 11.6 days nationally and 11.7 days in Colorado. These are the highest numbers seen in the past five years. When eliminating rentals for vacations, business, and other reasons except auto repairs, the average rental length in the Mountain region was 11.3 days with Colorado still at an 11.7 day average rental length.
What Increases Rental Car and Repair Shop Demand?
When comparing the numbers between the past year or two and the previous five, one thing stood out — the weather. Recently, there have been an unusually high number of major snow storms and hurricanes, and the uptick is magnified by the fact that the weather was, on average across the country, relatively mild five years ago.
Severe weather increases the chances that cars will suffer catastrophic damage from hail, fallen trees, and other storm effects. Poor driving conditions before and after the brunt of the storms increase the likelihood and seriousness of accidents. This means that not only are auto shops overwhelmed with customers after a storm but that each individual job will probably take more man-hours to complete than average.
What Factors Affect Repair Time and Rental Car Length?
There is a pretty strong connection between the cost of a repair and the time a customer will need a rental car. This is simply because a higher repair cost almost always signals more extensive work that takes longer to complete.
Many lengthy repairs are the result of major accident damage. Instead of replacing one part in a few hours, the shop may need to replace a few mechanical parts, then repair the body of the car, then repaint it, and possibly do interior work before the car can be returned to the customer. And it isn’t just a matter of one mechanic working nonstop on a car until it’s done — there’s often a wait time for different specialists to do their job, the time it takes to order needed parts, waits for customer authorization when the initial estimate changes, and times where no work can be done because paint or other coating is drying or curing.
Complexities in modern cars are also to blame for extended repair times. Many cars now used advanced computer systems for almost every task, and replacements from these must be ordered directly from the manufacturer as they are often unique to each year, make, and model. Some shops may not be equipped to handle specialty cars — for example, the new aluminum-body Ford F-150. Because these repairs require special-ordered parts and more advanced work, the cost climbs along with the time to complete it.
Do you need to know how long you’re going to need a rental car? Contact Colorado Auto Body to find out more about average repair times or to schedule an appointment to bring your car in for a free estimate.