PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — The UAW strike impacts are expected to touch South Florida. raising prices from the consumer to the auto body and repair shops.
Financial website GOBankingRates.com already ranked Florida the fifth most expensive state to own a car, factoring in insurance, gas and general upkeep.
“It’s just ridiculous. One word,” David Lurry of Port St. Lucie said. “Definitely in auto insurance, it’s increased substantially.”
“One car, my van is $400 a month, my truck is $600 a month, insurance is about $375 for both of them,” said Kerry Neufeld, also of Port St. Lucie. “Then gas, the truck’s $100.”
“Everything. Everything has increased,” added Linda Doser.
Unfortunately, to top off those costs, there will likely come spikes in the cost of repairs for some car owners who have Ford, General Motor, Chrysler or Jeeps.
“Yes, it’s hard, very hard for people,” said Andrew Brown, owner of Four Points Auto in Port St. Lucie.
Brown himself has seen skyrocketing costs increase.
“Prices are going up, we see that in our prices with all different vendors,” he said. “I see a little more every day.”
Now, he said with a lack of workers, comes a shortage of parts, which will drive up costs. He said he’s seen the red flags before.
“The problem we’re going to have is when we need a part from the dealer,” Brown said. “I’ll give you an example, when COVID hit, I was trying to find an engine computer. Nobody had one, we had to wait, the customer had to wait, they can’t run the car, and that’s a big problem.”
Now, Brown has a tough choice. Either he passes on the cost to his customers or absorbs it himself. For him, it’s a lose-lose.
“It’s very hard to tell you what to do at that point,” Brown said. “It’s tough, it’s tough.”
Still Brown makes his pennies count, and his customers do, too.
“Yeah, it really makes a difference,” he said.
“Florida’s still a great place to live, I wouldn’t live anywhere else,” added Doser.
While there’s not much Brown said you can do about the rising cost of repairs, the American Automobile Association said there are ways you can help costs if you’re planning on buying a car.
Below are some tips from AAA: