Growing concerns about road safety as the cost of living rises: a third of motorists are likely to delay or skip their car service to save money
- A survey of motorists shows that a third will probably not have a car serviced in the coming year
- This represents approximately 10.5 million passenger cars registered in Britain
- Two-thirds expect their car to have a breakdown next year that they cannot afford
As the cost of living crisis hits people’s finances, a study has found that a large proportion of motorists are canceling their car’s annual service in an effort to save money.
A flurry of surveys has already raised concerns that motorists could be putting themselves and others at risk by delaying essential vehicle maintenance as wallets tighten in a period of rising inflation, higher food prices and skyrocketing utility bills.
The latest poll of more than 2,000 drivers in Britain found that a third (32 per cent) are likely or very likely to skip servicing their vehicle in the next 12 months.
This could lead to more than 10 million motorcycles on the road going unchecked by a mechanic for months, based on the number of cars registered in the UK.
A third of motorists save money by avoiding car maintenance
With data showing 37.2 million passenger cars in use, the study’s findings suggest that nearly 10.5 million may have problems and worn parts that are commonly identified, repaired or replaced as part of an annual checkup.
The survey by maintenance and repair comparison site BookMyGarage.com, MOT, found that nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) of UK motorists believe their vehicle is likely to need a repair in the near future that they cannot afford due to mounting financial pressures as the UK enters a recession.
The latest poll of more than 2,000 drivers in the UK has found that a third (32%) are likely or very likely to skip servicing their vehicle in the coming year
Nearly two-thirds (64%) of motorists said their vehicle is likely to need a repair they cannot afford due to rising financial pressures as the UK plunges into recession
This means that drivers can use their car knowing they have serious defects that could pose a major risk to themselves and other road users.
One in 10 cash-strapped motorists said they have even resorted to repairing cars themselves in an effort to save money, compounding fears of driving dangerous vehicles.
In a perfect storm for seasoned drivers, UK CPIH inflation, which hit 9.6 percent in October, has also pushed up the price of auto parts.
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The survey found that one-fifth of respondents will look for cheaper replacement parts – including fitting budget tires and replacing parts with non-genuine parts – to reduce repair costs, which also increases risk.
Commenting on the results of the survey of 2,113 motorists – conducted in October – Karen Rotberg, co-founder of BookMyGarage, said: “Not having your car serviced may seem like an easy way to cut car costs, but the reality is that more problems are likely to arise in the long run and that drivers in general can cost more money.
“When a vehicle has been serviced, it is inspected for existing problems that often go unnoticed by an ordinary motorist. These problems can get worse over time and in some cases result in a more expensive repair bill.
“Vehicle maintenance is a preventative measure and skimping on maintenance can result in significant engine damage and a repair bill that exceeds the value of the vehicle. It can also be dangerous, because safety-critical failures can go unnoticed and the risk of breakdown is greater.’
She added: “We fully understand that these are difficult times for drivers. Replacement parts are more expensive and garage owners are also seeing their overheads skyrocket.
“While we emphasize the need for a car service, we are also aware that some drivers feel they have no choice but to skip it.”
Many are looking for cheaper maintenance costs, but a disturbing number are considering fitting cheap parts to their cars to save money – and others are trying to make repairs themselves
BookMyGarage says not having your car serviced not only puts a driver and others at greater risk, but undetected problems can worsen over time and result in a more expensive repair bill later
Not the first report of drivers skimping on car maintenance to save money during a cost-of-living crisis
BookMyGarage’s survey comes just a month after the RAC warned that a third of young drivers will cut back on car service and maintenance during tough times.
The poll of 3,102 motorists found that 37 percent of 17- to 24-year-olds put off work on their cars because the cost of living exacerbates the strain on their finances.
The automotive group warns that this is likely to lead to ‘much higher’ bills in the future, as the problems escalate, and puts drivers and other road users at risk by ignoring potentially serious mistakes.
As early as April, the Motor Ombudsman expressed concern about drivers delaying maintenance of their vehicle to save money.
Nearly one in three motorists surveyed said they plan to spend less on driving this year due to tight budgets.