Cost of car maintenance 'unexpectedly high'

More than half the people who have bought used vehicles in the last two years say that maintaining the car has been more expensive than they expected.

Research by the Money Advice Service (MAS), a government-backed body, found that 56 per cent of motorists thought vehicle repair, maintenance, tax, insurance and running costs added up to more than they thought they would. Furthermore, one in five drivers even admitted to going into debt just to keep their second-hand car on the road.

Car repairs might trigger unexpectedly high costs, but there are also expenses to be accounted for by those performing the repairs. Car garages and repair shops must factor the price of motor trade insurance into their budgets. Thankfully some companies, such as ChoiceQuote, allow a business to pay for their policy in instalments, alleviating the strain of large one-off payments.

Out of the 3,000 people surveyed who had bought a used car since 2012, 26 per cent said they now regretted that decision. Meanwhile, for those who found running costs to be higher than anticipated, 31 per cent said they had to cut back on other family luxuries with 12 per cent saying they are struggling to meet key household bills because of the amount they are spending on their car.

Nick Hill, a money expert at the MAS, commented: "I'd urge anyone planning on buying a car not only to set a budget for the initial cost, but to also look at total affordability and do their research in terms of what it's going to cost them to run, repair and maintain over the long term."