The cost of the lockdown has been revealed for cars.
Some 87% of drivers say they have a car which was hardly used during the pandemic, and almost one in ten (9%) took a car off the road using a Statutory Off Road Notification.
When checking on their unused car, a third (33%) had a flat battery, 17% had low tyre pressure and one in twenty (6%) found mould on the interior. Others suffered from scratched bodywork, locked handbrakes and one driver’s catalytic converter was stolen while the car was parked up. Only 28% said they hadn’t had any problems with an unused car.
Over half of drivers (55%) took their car out for specific journeys just to keep the battery topped up, with almost a quarter (23%) feeling guilty for doing this, and 24% worried about being stopped by police for non-essential travel.
When it comes to getting their car back on the road, a quarter (25%) said that they took their neglected car for a long drive, 30% have cleaned it (7% professionally), 35% have checked the tyre pressure, 10% have had to jump start it, 11% have had to buy a new battery and one in ten (10%) have asked a garage to check it over. 14% are thinking of getting rid of the unused car.
The 824 drivers, surveyed by InsuretheGap, a leading supplier of Guaranteed Asset Protection insurance, also spoke of their frustration at not being able to drive much in the last twelve months, with one driver saying they had driven, according to their service, 44 miles in the six-month period from September 2020 to the end of March 2021. Savings on fuel costs have been a silver lining for many, however, with one driver saving over £250 a month on petrol.
Ben Wooltorton, Chief Operating Officer, InsuretheGap.com said, “Cars are meant to be driven, and if they are left idle for a long time, you can have issues such as flat batteries, low tyre pressure, brakes locking, and if the car isn’t kept clean, mould. It’s important to thoroughly check your car over before driving it again to make sure it’s safe to drive.”