Andy Craig: Motor trade insurance considerations as industry can't find top gear

A global shortage of semi-conductor chips is impacting production of cars, phones, gaming consoles, PCs and other electronics
Andy Craig

THE motor industry continues to be in a precarious position as the global semi-conductor shortage combined with other geopolitical issues are impacting on both the supply and demand of new vehicles.

Latest car sales figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reveal that from January to April this year, sales of new cars in Northern Ireland were almost 11 per cent higher than the same period in 2021.

There were 14,272 new cars bought across Northern Ireland in the first four months of the year, up from 12,894 on the previous year.

But as if to underline the volatility in the industry, April suffered a 2.5 per cent fall here with 3,212 cars sold, 83 fewer than April 2021. This meant April, except for April 2020 when lockdowns were in place, was the worst month for car sales in Northern Ireland since SMMT began recording sales.

Manufacturers have been battling to get new cars onto forecourts amidst a worldwide shortage of semi-conductors (microchips) brought on by the pandemic and exasperated by a surge in demand once lockdowns were lifted.

With some new vehicles having over 40 microchips installed in them it’s easy to see how the shortage may last further into the year.

Demand for new cars has remained strong in parts, with the price of second hand cars sometimes being more than new models due to their availability. The waiting time for new cars can often exceed six months.

The situation is being played out as manufacturers also make plans for transitioning to electric vehicles to meet future net zero targets.

No matter what size your motor trade business is, there are a lot of factors to consider at present to ensure it remains healthy.

One less thing to worry about should be insurance, especially if you conduct a review of your policies with your broker.

Finding a competitive motor trade policy can sometimes be a time consuming and complicated process, but an expert broker can help and the best ones will get the best deal to suit you.

The best brokers can tailor a policy in line with your business needs with the additional elements of cover specifically designed to meet your requirements.

The type of motor trade insurance you need in place depends on the area of motor trade in which you operate.

A robust motor trade combined policy tailored to your exacting needs can deliver the cover, and importantly peace of mind, you need.

Motor trade combined is a comprehensive policy that is designed to deliver cover for every aspect of your motor trade business. Whether you operate an independent business from a small garage or as part of larger company, motor trade combined will keep you covered.

Key features can include: public liability, employers liability, service indemnity, goods in transit and importantly during the current climate, business interruption.

Another key feature which may be important especially at a time of rising prices is cover for damage to business premises, vehicles and equipment.

:: Andy Craig is commercial account executive at AbbeyAutoline (

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