In common with every other aspect of our national life, Britain’s car repair industry is steadily succumbing to the debilitating effects of the country’s new status as an international foul weather corridor.

Now, don’t get Bankstone News wrong: we’re all in favour of global warming in principle. But a little more variety in our upgraded winter weather package would be somewhat welcome. The prospect of milder summers certainly sounds appealing, but not if we’re drowned or blown away before we ever see one.

Britain’s beleaguered bodyshops are bravely bearing the brunt of the unabated blustery barrage. “We’ve been flooded for around a month,” moaned Marcus Woodsman to in-house funky toiletries publication Bodyshop Magazine this week, with four or five inches entering and leaving the body shop with the tide. “We are very limited in what we can do,” he added.

Rather like Bankstone News after one of the Badger’s two-pints-and-an-extra-hot-chilli-for-a-fiver specials, Roger Addison of Autohaus Paint Technics in Dawlish is facing wind-related productivity challenges. “The floods have been disabling us for the last two months,” he reveals, but “it’s the wind,” he says that’s causing the most trouble. “The canopy can very easily blow over,” he confides, adding: “it’s nearly impossible to work in those conditions.”

Not every repair shop is underwater, of course, but even those on elevated ground are encountering weather related difficulties.

“We’re on a hill,” brags Matthew Polite of P&H Body Reapers in Saffron Waldon, “so we haven’t been directly affected, but the region” (presumably, he means Essex) “was completely flooded overnight. We expect to see many vehicles come through the door today and they’ll all be total write-offs that will have to be sent to the salvages yards, which are filling up and creating a backlog themselves.”

So basically, the best advice is don’t have anything go wrong with your car until the winter has blown over – and if you do, don’t expect to get it back before things dry out a bit.


How the weather proof car of the future might look


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