It is hard to buy a new car in America today. Chip shortages needed for car electronic and navigation systems are in short supply. This has caused some assembly lines to be shuttered. Dealers used to receive new cars that would stay on their lots for over 60 days. The number has dropped to 30 days. This has driven up prices.
Americans hold their cars much longer than they used to. The new car shortage may have caused some of this. The average number of years a car is on the road now is 12.1 years. In 2002, the number was 9.6 years. Older cars are not under warranty which means they may not be repaired in dealerships, and the cost or repairs fall on the owner.
The availability of car repair shops varies considerably from city to city. 24/7 Wall St. reviewed Junk Car Traders data for auto body shops in hundreds of cities across the country to determine which city had the most such businesses. (Additional commuting data for the cities listed came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey for 2019, the most recent to be published.)
In the cities we considered, a high percent of the population drives to work, and thus probably has a greater need for body shops than in cities where commuting is more likely to be by public transportation.
The good news for body shop proprietors is that, with the pandemic slowing and many people returning to work and/or venturing out for travel, meals, or entertainment, more cars will be crowding the roads, meaning that their businesses will probably be in greater demand.
The city with the most car repair shops is Bakersfield, California. Here are the details:
> Auto body shops: 878.8 per 100,000 residents
> Avg. area commute time: 24.2 minutes
> Pct. of area workers who drive 93.7%
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