Fixes and vehicle items cost twice as much

“Everything is through the roof, everything costs twice as much, I had never seen this in 40 years that I have been here”, these are the expressions that are repeated among the owners of businesses that are dedicated to the repair and sale of articles for vehicles in Villa Juana. The merchants claim that the cost of all services and merchandise has doubled.

The price of a new tire went from RD$6,000 to RD$8,500; the used ones that cost RD$1,000 now cost RD$2,500; and a set of hoops that used to cost RD$20,000 is now worth RD$40,000, explained Elvin Santana, owner of a business in the area, where he says it has been for more than 12 years.

“This is the last thing I’ve seen,” he exclaims. Arrangements have also been duplicated. Santana indicated that some time ago they charged RD$500 to fix a broken ring and now they charge RD$1,000.

Some attribute the increase in the cost of articles to the increase in freight rates, which have multiplied. 

“If you brought 20 tires and paid US$3,000 for freight, now you have to pay US$9,000 and US$12,000. That is reflected in the final price of the items,” said another of the rubber merchants.

Mechanics

The reality is the same for mechanical services. The Mechanics affirm that parts, oils and all the merchandise they use to repair vehicles have risen between 20% and up to 80%.

Raúl Martínez, a mechanic in the area, said that before doing an “engine tuning”, which includes changing or cleaning spark plugs and other parts, they charged RD$1,500 and now they charge at least RD$2,800.

“Everything is doubled, a piece that cost you RD$100 now costs you RD$200. The silicone (which is used for rubber bands) used to cost RD$100 and now it costs RD$275; an oil of RD$80 is now worth RD$170…”, explained Martínez.

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The merchant explained that for doing maintenance on a car, just changing the oil and filters, he charges at least RD$2,000. He says that to change the spark plugs and other parts you have to spend between RD$7,000 and RD$10,000, depending on the type of vehicle. Before this cost around RD$4,000.

Villa Juana mechanics and car dealers say that the rise in prices of services and merchandise has affected the commercial dynamism of this active neighborhood of the Dominican capital, because the flow of people in the area has decreased.

“When you see that here, that a vehicle passes from time to time, it is because things are not good. There is little movement and that means that the whole country is like this,” said Martínez.

price index

This panorama given by the merchants is supported, although not in percentage terms, with the figures of the report of the consumer price index (CPI) of the Central Bank (BCRD).

The agency’s September 2021 report indicates that in that months Vehicle repair services increased 0.50%, tires 0.91%, vehicle filters 1.56%, and spark plugs 2.86%.

The most recent IPC, corresponding to January of this year, says that the vehicle repair service increased 0.85%.

Freight increase

The Central Bank has also outlined the impact of the increase in the cost of freight. In an analysis published in July of last year, experts from the agency explained that the cost of maritime freight has reached historical highs.

Analysts pointed out that increases of up to 280% and 370% have been registered and that the routes to Africa and Latin America are the ones that have experienced the most notable increases.

 

 

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