Vehicle parts shortages

It's been hard to ignore the news on shortages over recent months. We've all spotted empty shelves in supermarkets and queues at the fuel pumps. And the motor industry has been hit too.

30 March 2022

During the pandemic, vehicle manufacturing plants shut down, which impacted production and the making of parts: from microchips to seat covers. This has resulted in a global shortage of vehicle parts, which is having a wide impact. As a result, if you have an accident and need to make a claim, it may take longer to get your vehicle in for a repair. This is affecting all insurers and repairers. Let's explain what the issues are...

Many industries are experiencing shortages, delays, or interruptions in service provision as our country navigates through the Covid pandemic. The motor industry is no different. It's facing many challenges, which may impact the service our repair partners can provide. In short, the time taken to repair your vehicle following an accident is currently longer than we would expect.

Here are some of the main issues:


There is currently a worldwide shortage of microchips. Modern vehicles use microchips for things like cameras, parking sensors and other driver aids, which can be found in many parts all around the vehicle. This global shortage has resulted in shutdowns at some car manufacturing plants, resulting in the worldwide output of new cars/vans being at an all-time low.

Vehicle Replacement parts

There are delays in getting other vehicle parts such as tailgates, bumpers and body panels. This is due to the worldwide shortage of plastics and the movement of goods. We are all aware of the well-publicised driver shortages in the UK. This has lead to the lack of availability of parts in the UK. This means that many parts need to be ordered from overseas, as stock levels in the UK are low. Most of the UK’s popular vehicle brands are impacted by these shortages. And, in most cases repairers are waiting weeks, or in some cases months, for parts to be delivered.

Repair services

The UK Government guidance required repairers to operate social distancing measures and provide a COVID safe environment for its employees. The extra wait times for parts to be delivered has resulted in fewer vehicles being repaired. As a result, it has reduced the repair capacity across the UK and increased the time taken to get some vehicles repaired.

Staffing levels including specialist resources have been impacted by above average absence, due to illness and self-isolation requirements.

Courtesy vehicles

Another problem for repairers is the lack of courtesy vehicles available to replace yours when it is being fixed. One of the benefits of RSA Commercial Motor Insurance is a courtesy vehicle while yours is being repaired. Because repairs are taking longer than usual there are more requests for courtesy vehicles and this drives a shortage because more of them are in use, causing a real headache for repairers. This is affecting all insurers and repairers.

Please speak to us or the repairer and we'll try our best to help you.

Finally, we're here for you

We are doing our best to ensure services aren't impacted and any delays are minimal. Our repair network continues to operate a full repair service across the UK. We will keep you informed of the progress of your vehicle repair.