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Questions Concerning Aluminum Cars

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On: Tue, Jan 28, 2014 at 7:09AM | By: Karen Cook

Questions Concerning Aluminum Cars

With all the research being done on materials to lighten the weight of vehicles in order to make them fuel efficient, a little research needs to go into figuring the other costs associated with these products. Just because you save money on gas doesn’t mean that the savings apply to other areas of the cost of a vehicle. Take the new trend in using aluminum for car and truck bodies, for example.

The lighter weight is definitely better on gas. Money in your pocket. However, the price of aluminum itself is higher than steel, which means the initial cost of the vehicle could be a little higher. Give up a little savings. Also aluminum is harder to repair than steel and most shops are not equipped with the proper tools and machinery to do the job. You can bet that the labor rate and replacement aluminum parts will be passed on to the consumer. Give up a little more savings. According to my research some body damage on aluminum cannot be repaired at all and the entire affected panel must be replaced. Depending on the size of the panel, this could get costly. Even relatively small damage, such as from hail, may call for replacement instead of reair.

As of now, we have no real idea how an aluminum vehicle will affect insurance rates. As far as I could find online, insurance companies don’t foresee rates changing much due to body construction with a new material, but, at this point, there is no accident data to determine if rates should be higher. This question is still in a wait-and-see status.

There is no firm information on how much an aluminum vehicle will save you in gas and no firm numbers on what it will cost for insurance and repairs. Right now, the product is still too new to determine how it compares overall to a steel vehicle of the same kind, but it seems that we’ll need to be saving a ton on gas just to cover the risk.


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