Co-op Insurance has revealed that British motorists are quite literally in it for the long haul when it comes to their cars.
Figures from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency reveal that over nine million vehicles – more than one in five of the 40.3 million on the road today – has over 100,000 miles on the clock.
Data from the insurer also shows that the average age of cars it now insures has increased over the past four years – in 2018, 10% of all policies were for cars up to two years old but today that figure has reduced to just 4% in the first three months of this year.
At the other end of the scale, in 2018 cars aged between six and 10 years old accounted for seven out of ten policies, a figure which has risen to eight out of ten for Q1 in 2022.
As the cost of living – and fuel – continues to rise, it’s of little surprise that motorists are less keen to spend money on a brand-new car and are more inclined to keep their existing motor on the road for longer. This phenomenon is fuelling a buoyant second-hand vehicle market which grew 11.5% from 2020 to 2021.
Paul Evans, head of motor at Co-op Insurance, said, ‘’It looks like Brits are taking a ‘mend and make-do’ approach to car ownership as the cost of living, and running a car, continues to rocket.
“Whilst we know that parts, availability issues and the pandemic, amongst other factors, have hit the new car market badly, many people just aren’t in a position to splash unnecessary cash on a brand-new vehicle. Instead it makes more financial sense to keep their existing car going for as long as possible, or to buy a used car.”
“Whilst high mileage doesn’t always mean the car is particularly old, 100,000 miles does make for a lot of wear and tear and it’s essential that your vehicle receives regular servicing and maintenance to prevent it developing problems that become very expensive to fix.
“With the right care there’s no reason as to why such cars can’t be relied upon for many more miles. And with the value of second-hand vehicles shooting up, there’s a real incentive for owners to look after them, as when the time does come to sell them, motorists could end up with more pounds in their pocket.”
Co-op Insurance’s top five tips for maintaining a second-hand car:
- Know your vehicle – cars and vans are all different so it’s important to make sure you read and understand the owner’s manual to learn about the various features of your vehicle and how to avoid any common problems. It’s also vital to examine the service logbook of your used car so that you’re familiar with its history.
- Adhere to a maintenance schedule – you can’t expect your car to reach 100,000 miles if you don’t show it due care and attention, and that means ensuring it has regular servicing and MOT checks. One of the main reasons why second-hand vehicle owners encounter problems is because they forget to maintain it properly – cars will naturally develop wear and tear issues but if they’re addressed in good time they won’t turn into more expensive problems. And always use a trusted, reputable mechanic to look after your vehicle.
- Check your tyres regularly – tyres are subject to heavy wear and tear and owners need to ensure that they are always within legal limits. Maintain proper alignment by switching or rotating tyres every few months and be sure to check air pressure, particularly if setting off on a longer journey.
- Change oil and other fluids regularly – an engine’s moving parts are under constant pressure due to friction and heat and oil plays a crucial role in ensuring these parts remain in good condition. Be sure to adhere to the manufacturer’s schedule for oil changes in order to keep the engine healthy. There are four other fluids that should also be checked regularly to ensure they are at the correct levels: engine coolant, brake fluid, windscreen washer fluid and power steering fluid.
- Keep it clean – take pride in a second-hand car and clean its interior and exterior with regular washes, waxes, and vacuuming. This will help protect the bodywork by ensuring dirt and debris are kept at bay.