We have seen a huge increase in parts costs over the last year or so. The availability of parts has also gotten a lot worse. When we look at the why we see several different reasons. When many of the world governments shut down their countries due to the covid pandemic there were no factories producing parts. I am sure you have heard this already with many other vital items that we need in our lives on a daily basis. Car parts were no exception and one of the countries where most parts come from and that had the longest shutdown was China. It is a well-known fact that while states in the US were telling their citizens to stay home these states were also paying the citizens to stay home. After the lockdowns were lifted car parts, for example, were loaded onto container ships and sent to the US. The problem was there was nobody on the docks to unload the containers. Before the lockdown, it would cost approx. $15,000 to ship a container, no matter what was in it. After the lockdown, that price was as high as $45,000 to ship the same container. Of course, the parts companies in the US had no choice but to raise the cost of the parts. Also during the lockdown the local parts suppliers, who buy the parts from the bigger companies, had a lot of their employees quit or take extended vacations. In order for these suppliers to stay in business they were forced to pay a much higher wage to hire people to stock, look up and deliver these parts to the repair shops. Plus they are charging fuel cost for delivery. We are even having a tougher time finding some parts that used to be readily available. Tires, brake rotors, and computer products are probably some of the most difficult to find.
Basically, it works like this. More cost to get the parts to America. More cost to get the parts to the suppliers. More costly to get the parts to the repair shops and this means more cost to the consumer after the repair shop makes whatever markup they need to stay in business. I don't know if this will ever get better and go back to what was considered normal but if you read my Why are car repairs so expensive blog you should get a better picture as to what is happening in this industry.