The average cost to replace a broken headlight on a vehicle has risen from $307.73 in 2015 to $418.36 in 2019, according to a study conducted by business insight firm mPower by Mitchell.
The firm also found that current model year vehicles have experienced an even sharper increase in headlight replacement costs. In 2015, headlight replacement costs for new or late model year cars sat an average of $499.20, but that figure has since risen to $773.
There are a number of factor contributing to rapidly escalating headlight replacement costs, including more stringent testing from safety regulators and the implementation of more advanced headlight technologies.
Expectedly, Mitchell found that luxury automakers had the top 10 most expensive headlight repair averages. General Motors and Fiat Chrysler experienced the most rapid expansion in headlight cost between 2015 and 23019, however. The study found that Dodge cars have experienced a 137 percent increase in headlight repair costs in just four years.
It’s not likely that this trend will change anytime soon, either. Not only are safety regulators now paying more attention to headlight strength and performance, any potential future autonomous vehicles will need to have a well-lit view of the road ahead in order to operate properly. The same is true for semi-autonomous safety system being deployed on production cars currently.
“The trend towards more advanced lighting systems is bound to continue as smarter systems are critical in the journey toward autonomous driving,” Mitchell’s study said. “The improved visibility created by these new complex headlamps will be instrumental to ensuring that other ADAS sensors and components are able to function at the highest level and provide the greatest degree of safety, especially in a vehicle cockpit devoid of a driver.”
The study also named the Cadillac XT6 as a vehicle with particularly expensive available headlights. The crossover’s optional matrix beam headlight system, which can automatically dim or adjust the headlights so they do not blind oncoming traffic or any traffic the vehicle is following. They will also automatically switch from high-beam to low-beam based on the driving conditions. These lights are legal in Canada, but have not yet been approved by the NHTSA.