Is it reasonable to charge £840 to replace a punctured aircon condenser on my Jaguar XF?

The aircon on my 30-month-old (23,000 mile) Jaguar XF suddenly stopped working recently when on the M11. My local dealer (from whom I bought the car) tells me the aircon unit has become punctured, possibly by a stone thrown up by another vehicle. The replacement cost will be £840: approximately £540 in parts, £160 in labour and VAT. It's not a warranty job and they doubt I'll get any joy from Jaguar Customer Services. £840 seems quite steep for this. Do you think it's reasonable? Also, should I look to recover this through insurance? I'm with Direct Line. There's no proof of what may have caused the puncture, but I can't see how I might have avoided it.

Asked on 19 October 2013 by TB, Warlingham

Answered by Honest John
This has become a very common problem because carmakers situate a/c condensers where they are vulnerable to this, possibly to generate income from damage repairs. Someone needs to get into business fabricating a/c condenser shields. If you make an insurance claim, whether successful or not, it will go down on your insurance record.
Similar questions
My wife backed into the man across the road’s Vauxhall, with slight damage to the n/s wheelarch six inches long. I offered to pay for the repair. He said he “would look into it”. Two days later he returned....
One point you have missed in your recent replies about insurers is the 'preferred repairer'. What happened to the old method of providing three independent quotes for the repair to the insurer? Surely...
I recently damaged the car of a visitor to our house here in Cornwall, whilst manoeuvring my van in our drive. This was my fault as the other vehicle, an Audi A5, was parked and empty, and I misjudged...
Related models
Wonderful and bespoke feeling interior. Amazingly quiet and refined. More economical 2.2 diesel from 2011. Navigation not fitted as standard on most models.
 

Ask Honest John

Value my car