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LONDON – British consumers can add car repairs to the list of everyday purchases expected to go up in price because of Brexit.
A report, from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, estimated that Brits could pay a total of around £2 billion more per year to keep their cars on the road.
The study, which works on the assumption that the UK will fail to secure a trade deal with the EU and fall back to WTO trade rules, said that the cost of importing parts would increase £21 per year for every Brit, while other things like customs costs and quotas could add £49.
Overall, costs could rise by up to 10%, according to the study.
“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,” the body’s Chief Executive Mike Hawes said, according to The Guardian.
“Government must now prioritise an interim arrangement that maintains single market and customs union membership until the right trade deal with the EU is implemented.”
“Some 80% of replacement car parts fitted to British cars are imported, with almost three-quarters of these coming from EU-based suppliers. However, the manufacture of components in the UK is growing, making the risk of tariffs on British products sold in Europe and other key global markets another major concern.”
Britain’s car and general automotive industry has been one of the most vocal against Brexit, with the SMMT warning in June that a cliff-edge Brexit is its “biggest fear.”
The UK’s exit from the European Union, along with its single market and customs union, has the potential to disrupt the international supply chains relied on by manufacturers of complex equipment such as vehicles. Companies both in Europe and in the UK are starting to protect themselves from fallout if the talks do not yield a special trade deal by the time Britain leaves the bloc in 2019.