Hidden cost of wing mirror repairs is £655m, says Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles

Around two-thirds (62%) of van drivers have had their wing mirrors clipped when driving along narrow streets or when parked, leading to overall lifetime costs of £655 million.

The research of 1,000 drivers by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles also found one-third of respondents had said it had happened multiple times.

The figures show the most common cause on wing mirror damage is driving down a narrow street (62%), followed by on-street parking (21%( and public car parks (15%).

Replacement wing mirrors are the most common repair that Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles technicians handle each year, with glass and mirrors accounting for 10 times more repairs than any other part.

James Allitt, head of aftersales for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said: “As one of the most common repair jobs, we know that a broken wing mirror is all too common for van drivers and leads to frustrating downtime.

“The impact of wing mirror damage on finances and business operations shows how important it is to manually fold in wing mirrors, and how cost-effective automatic folding mirrors can be to van drivers and fleet managers.”

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has recently seen a number of changes in senior management positions.

Head of fleet Claire English is leaving to become head of fleet at Audi UK, while David Hanna leaves his role of head of aftersales to replace James Douglas as head of sales operations.

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  • Edward Handley - 25/06/2021 11:59

    The cost of replacing broken mirrors on vans, and indeed cars, is indeed horriffic, but the manufacturers have a lot to answer for, including the outrageous prices charged for the parts required. Mirrors have become increasingly complex and contain electric motors, heating elements, and sometimes other things like temperature sensors, but the cost of repacement parts, if available, is grossly inflated, giving the manufacturers profit margins of around 1000%. Often parts cannot be obtained, you have to buy a complete mirror unit when all that is required is a replacement glass. The modern fashion for having mirrors colour coded does not help either. If Volkswagen were really serious about helping their customers, they could start by reducing the proces of replacement mirror parts. The other issue for van operators is the significant number of mirrors that get stolen, which given the cost of parts is not surprising. A catalytic converter may be worth £400 for scrap, but you can save a lot more than that by nicking a mirror off a parked van instead of buying the parts. Van mirrors could fold in automatically when the engine is off and the door is opened, and the manufacturers could at least try to avoid putting all van wing mirrors at exactly the same height!

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