Auto repair owner warns cost of ‘everything is going up’

Car repair costs are up 6.1% in May compared to the year before: Labor Department

A New Jersey automobile repair shop owner warned Monday that the cost of "everything is going up" and consumers will face steep increases when fixing their cars. 

Peyton Knight, the owner of Knight's Automotive Repair, told FOX Business’ Madison Alworth during a live interview on "Varney & Co." Monday that he used to repair engines for about $4,500, but now he charges $9,500 due to cost pressures. 

 "We’re waiting months and months to get the product too," he added, stressing the difficulty of getting engines. 

Knight also noted the cost of tires has increased by 40% since the pandemic began. 


Americans are facing record-high prices

A vehicle repair shop owner weighs in on the current inflationary environment and discusses what customers can expect.  (iStock / iStock)

"Tires, they’re going up daily," he told Alworth. 

He added that the cost of brake rotors, the metal discs connected to the wheels of the vehicle, are up 20%. 

Knight provided the insight two days before investors will digest the Consumer Price Index and core CPI which is expected to rise to 8.8% from 8.6% in the prior read, as tracked by Trading Economics. 

Last month, it was revealed that inflation remained painfully high in May, with consumer prices hitting a new four-decade high that exacerbated a financial strain for millions of Americans. 

The Labor Department said last month that the Consumer Price Index, a broad measure of the price for everyday goods, including gasoline, groceries and rents, rose 8.6% in May from a year ago. Prices jumped 1% in the one-month period from April. Those figures were both higher than the 8.3% headline figure and 0.7% monthly gain forecast by Refinitiv economists. 


The data marked the fastest pace of inflation since December 1981. 

Used car and truck prices were up 16.1% from the previous year and the price for new vehicles increased 12.6%. Motor vehicle maintenance and repair costs were up 6.1% in May compared to the same time last year and increased .5% from April to May, according to data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics last month. 

Knight noted Monday that many people have been turning to used parts amid the price increases, which, in turn, is causing the prices for those parts to rise as well. 

"Now a used transmission that I might have got for $400 or $500 is now $2,500, so everything is going up," he stressed. 

Knight also pointed out that people are hanging on to their cars for a longer period of time, opting to repair them as prices for new vehicles have been soaring

"First of all, it’s tough to get newer vehicles," Knight said, noting that customers "can’t get their hands of them" even with the cost of new and used vehicles have been going up "drastically."

"So people are putting a lot of money into their used cars," he continued, stressing that he is "seeing a lot of people spend more money than they normally would."

"If it got to be $3,500 or $4,000 they might not go for it," Knight said, noting that a couple of people last week spent about $6,000 to fix their car. 

"They don’t want to get into new cars, they know the cost," he stressed. 

The average car on American roads is 12.2 years old, Kelley Blue Book noted in May, citing a recent S&P Global Mobility Report, which analyzed registrations across the country to generate the data.


Tom Maoli, president & CEO of Celebrity Motor Cars based in New Jersey and New York, told "Cavuto: Coast to Coast" Monday that "it’s impossible to get parts."

Maoli said he "can’t get tires for cars."

"When you call into dealerships, we’re two weeks backed up on appointments only because we can’t get the parts," he continued.

"The supply chain is backed up and technicians, they’re hard to come by," the owner of six luxury car dealerships added.

He went on to note that "the technology in these vehicles is getting so dramatic that it’s hard to get technicians who know how to work on these cars."

Maoli also pointed out that there is another challenge in the mix.

"All these manufacturers are coming out with electric cars and these technicians don’t know how to work on them so the costs are rising," he told host Neil Cavuto