You know all that safety stuff on new cars? Lane-keep assist? Adaptive cruise control? It has a downside… if you get in an accident.
Cars with advanced driver-assistance technology are more expensive to repair than their less-autonomous counterparts, according to a study by AAA. What would have been relatively inexpensive bodywork due to a fender bender may end up costing two-and-a-half times as much to repair, due to the location of cameras along with ultrasonic and radar sensors.
"Advanced safety systems are much more common today, with many coming as standard equipment, even on base models,” said John Nielsen, AAAs managing director of Automotive Engineering and Repair. “Its critical that drivers understand what technology their vehicle has, how it performs and how much it could cost to repair should something happen."
It's not just the parts, either. A rock hitting your windshield will require the camera used for adaptive cruise control to be recalibrated. And you'll likely have to pay more for the replacement windshield, as some manufacturers have more stringent standards for optical clarity. What would otherwise be a $500 windshield replacement can end up costing as much as $1,500.
AAA has broken down some of the extra costs for cars with advanced driver-assist technology:
- Front radar sensors used with automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control systems: $900 to $1,300
- Rear radar sensors used with blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert systems: $850 to $2,050
- Front camera sensors used with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and lane keeping systems (does not include the cost of a replacement windshield): $850 to $1,900
- Front, side mirror or rear camera sensors used with around-view systems: $500 to $1,100
- Front or rear ultrasonic sensors used with parking assist systems: $500 to $1,300
As someone whose personal vehicles are a decade old at this point, I love when review cars have the full suite of safety features. The technology is extremely cool, and I feel more secure with an extra set of senses monitoring the road and traffic around me. But those safety features come at a price—not only when you buy the car, but when you have to get it repaired.