Motorists putting car repairs on hold due to finances, study finds

Car owners are putting off servicing their vehicles because they cannot afford repairs, new research has suggested.

According to a study by Kwik-Fit, 21 million motorists have needed to repair their car over the past two years. However, four million – or 19 per cent – said they could not afford the repairs, leaving the vehicle either in an unsafe condition or parked up somewhere not being driven.

Often, by putting off car repairs, problems can escalate and the cost of the work that needs to be completed will rise. Taking cars to a garage or mechanic more regularly will enable the professional to get behind the wheel of the car – by virtue of having a road risks insurance policy – and assess what, if any, problems the vehicle is experiencing.

However, Kwik-Fit's survey shows that more than 1.2 million drivers admitted to having driven their car in an unroadworthy condition because they could not afford repairs. Men were reportedly twice as likely as women to have done this.

Many car owners try to avoid going to mechanics, instead either carrying out repair work themselves or getting a friend to help. A third of people who chose to do this said that they were worried about the quality of the repairs though.

Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, said: “All cars need repairs at some point, it’s the inevitable result of everyday wear and tear. Drivers should therefore try to be realistic about their motoring budget and plan for their costs.

“Measures which may appear to be saving money in the short term may turn out to be a false economy. Skipping servicing can lead to problems which may be more expensive to fix at a later date.”