Millions of motorists are putting off vital repairs to their car or regular servicing because they can’t afford the garage bills.
Gocompare.com is warning penny-pinching drivers that ignoring essential repairs such as replacing damaged tyres or faulty brakes could render their vehicle dangerous or illegal to drive.
Worryingly, the research revealed that potentially dangerous or illegal problems such as brake problems and worn-out or damaged tyres are not being addressed because of cost. 11% of drivers surveyed had delayed replacing tyres; 7% windscreen repairs; 7% engine-related or mechanical repairs and 5% brake-related problems.
Just under a quarter (24%) of drivers say they have delayed their car’s annual service, driving on average an extra 1,600 miles over their car manufacturer’s recommended servicing mileage before getting their vehicle serviced. 24% of ‘service stretchers’ admitted to driving more than 2,000 miles over the recommended servicing mileage.
The survey found that drivers aged 35 to 44 are the most likely (34%) to put-off servicing their cars.
Younger motorists in the 25 to 34 age band were the most likely to delay vital repairs – 21% said that they have delayed buying new tyres, 13% dealing with brake problems, 13% windscreen repairs and 7% clutch problems.
Drivers aged 25 to 34 are also the most likely (22%) to ignore their car’s warning lights.
Commenting on the research, Matt Oliver, Gocompare.com’s car insurance spokesman said, “If you’re on a tight budget it can be tempting to delay or skip repairs to or servicing of your car.
“But, poorly maintained cars tend to breakdown or worse – contribute to accidents, so, while delaying repairs and maintenance may seem like a good way of saving cash, it can lead to more serious problems and bigger bills in the long-run and could render your car unsafe and illegal to drive.”
Other key findings from the survey of over 1,570 motorists:
- 11% of drivers have driven with one or more warning lights on because they didn’t have the money to get their car checked out;
- Only 61% of drivers understand all the dashboard display and warning lights on their vehicle, 25 to 34 year olds were the least knowledgeable with only 44% saying they knew what the various displays meant;
- The average cost of an annual car service, including parts and labour is £205. Motorists in London face the highest average bills (£283) and those in the North East the lowest (£135)
- Just 59% said they know what the service interval is on their car;
- Only 66% of drivers said that they have their car regularly serviced.
Gocompare.com has produced an essential motoring checklist for drivers.