More than two in five cars have damage that owners don’t want to fix

More than two in five cars have damage that owners don’t bother to fix as drivers ignore scuffs and scratches on the bodywork and broken windshields

  • A poll among 14,500 motorists shows that 44% of car owners drive damaged motorcycles
  • More than four in five say these are minor scuffs or scratches on the bodywork
  • One in ten drive with broken windscreens, despite the threat of them cracking
  • Find out which regions in the UK have the most damaged motorcycles on the road

There are more than 14 million cars on UK roads with some form of damage, according to a study by AA Insurance.

A poll of more than 14,500 car owners found that 44 percent have cars with some form of damage, ranging from minor wear and tear to more severe damage to tires and brakes.

The age profile of motorists showed the different approaches to repairing engine damage, with only two in five over-65s admitting to knowing their car had blemishes, while two-thirds of difficult 18- to 24-year-old motorists said their vehicles had scars. .

Surface scratches: AA Insurance estimates 14.5 million of the 32.7 million cars on UK roads have some form of damage based on a poll of thousands of drivers

While the damage may not have been caused during their ownership, many young people in their plight to insure an affordable motorcycle are buying older and dented cars, AA’s auto insurance team says.

In the UK, Londoners are the most likely to experience damage to cars, with half (52 per cent) of those surveyed who live in the capital saying this is the case for them.

Of the car owners who suffered damage, eight in 10 (83 percent) said their cars had minor wear and tear, while one in 10 had cracked or chipped windshields or glass.

One in 20 said their car had more visible body damage, but the shocking 3 percent admitted they continue to use their engine despite knowing they had worn or damaged tires.

Most common types of vehicle damage in the UK

The most common type of damage to cars in scuffs and scratches

The most common type of damage to cars in scuffs and scratches

1. Minor damage (i.e. light scuffs and scratches) – 83%

2. Glass (incl. windscreens and side windows) – 11%

3. Dashboard warning light on – 7%

4. Obvious bodywork damage (i.e. dents, broken panels) – 5%

=5. Windshield wipers – 3%

=5. Tires (worn, bumps, etc.) – 3%

=5. Exterior mirrors (missing and damaged) – 3%

=8. Exterior lights not working (i.e. headlights, brake, reverse) – 2%

=8. Brakes squeaking – 2%

=10. Suspension (ie knocking noises while driving) – 1%

=10. Steer (ie vehicle pulls to one side) – 1%

12. Other – 3%

Source: AA Insurance survey of 14,759 UK drivers. Figures based only on feedback from those who said their car had at least one damaged item

Other imperfections included; broken windshield wipers, lights on the dashboard and missing door mirrors.

The AA warned that even the smallest damage can hide more than meets the eye.

For example, what may look like a small crack or dent in the bumper can hide significant damage to the bumper brackets, shock absorber and shock absorber.

And for those with an easily repaired broken windshield, a hefty pop from a pothole can turn the minor blemish into a huge crack, requiring the entire glass panel to be replaced.


1. London – 52%

2. Southwest – 48%

3. Southeast – 46%

4. Wales – 44%

5. Oriental – 43%

=6. Scotland – 42%

=6. Northwest – 42%

=8. Yorkshire and Humberside – 41%

=8. West Midlands – 41%

=8. East Midlands – 41%

11. Northeast – 39%

12. Northern Ireland – 36%

Source: AA Insurance survey of 14,759 UK drivers

David Coughlan, director of AA Insurance Services, said: “Drivers with damaged cars live on a ‘wing (mirror) and a prayer,’ hoping the visible damage doesn’t camouflage something more expensive and compromising.

“Damage to cars can be like an iceberg – while things may look manageable on the surface, it’s what lurks beneath that can really cause problems.

“Any damage to the car’s structural integrity could impair performance if it were involved in a major collision.

“Keeping vehicles in good condition is important for the protection of owners as well as others.

“We are very concerned that drivers are using vehicles with bad tyres, brakes and steering.

“We strongly recommend that drivers have their car checked for damage to provide peace of mind and maintain the safety of their vehicle.”