CHESTERFIELD, Mo. – The longtime owner of The Auto Body Shop in Glen Carbon, Illinois, says he’s never seen the kind of auto repair backup he’s currently experiencing. He said it’s not unusual for customers to wait three months for repairs.

“Labor’s a big problem,” said John Romann, owner of The Auto Body Shop. “We need people.”

The repair shop is currently looking for a painter and a body technician. A shortage of auto parts is also a factor.

Romann also believes the rising value of vehicles has resulted in more situations where making repairs is less expensive than replacing the vehicle. He said that’s led to a bigger workload.

Auto repair delays began following the pandemic, according to AAA Missouri spokesperson Nick Chabarria.

“The pandemic kind of threw a wrench in the whole repair process,” he said.

Chabarria said that an increase in crashes is also a factor, along with a lack of workers and parts.

“That’s all kind of coming together to make a perfect storm and cause these delays that we’re seeing for collision and auto repair in general,” he said.