Crashing your fancy new car could cost way more than you expect

Modern driver-assistance systems are becoming increasingly common, and they are forcing crash repair prices upward to new heights.

Kyle Hyatt Former news and features editor
Kyle Hyatt (he/him/his) hails originally from the Pacific Northwest, but has long called Los Angeles home. He's had a lifelong obsession with cars and motorcycles (both old and new).
Kyle Hyatt
2 min read
Antuan Goodwin/Roadshow

You've just crashed your car. You check and make sure that nobody is injured, and then you start surveying the damage to your formerly pristine ride. No matter what, it's probably not going to be cheap to fix, but if you've got a new car like a Kia K900 then you're in for a bigger bill than you think.

How much bigger, you're asking? Well, John Van Alstyne, CEO and president of I-Car, a nonprofit organization specializing in vehicle collision repair education told Autoline that he puts the cost of a front-left collision repair on that K900 at an eye-watering $34,000.

We'll give you a second to clean up the coconut La Croix you probably just sprayed all over your work computer after reading that example.

That $34,000 figure represents a vast majority of the asking price for a base-model Kia K900. Why is it so much? Simply put, it's the technology that lives in the Kia's bumpers. The K900 is equipped with a full suite of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), and those systems require numerous sensors and computers to function. Adaptive cruise control radar sensors, ultrasonic parking sensors and cameras are all relatively sensitive pieces of equipment and thus are fragile and relatively pricey.

Of course, that $34,000 figure doesn't tell the whole story. The K900 is a relatively low-production car, even if Kia itself is a high-production manufacturer. It's also a luxury car, which doesn't help matters, as they are often the most laden with technology and therefore more expensive to repair. But, even the most basic vehicles on sale today have way more tech than they did even five years ago, and that's causing crash repair prices to go up as a whole.

The other important side to this coin is the fact that, with the proliferation of ADAS systems on even the most affordable of new vehicles, crashes should become significantly less common than they are now. What effect with this have on crash repairs? Will lower demand drive prices down or will it cause parts and labor prices to go up as there is less business to go around?

The 2020 K900 is the most luxurious Kia ever

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2019 Kia K900: Is Kia's flagship worth the pricey repairs? We take a spin to find out.

2019 Kia Forte: This Kia, on the other hand, has a starting price way under that repair cost.