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Repair costs leave one-in-five driving faulty cars

Motoreasy car maintenance research

Nearly one-in-five UK motorists admit to driving their car despite knowing it needs repairs because they can’t afford the bill, according to research carried out by motoreasy.

The claim from the car maintenance and ownership service comes at a time when the Government is considering extending the start of MoT testing from three-year-old cars to vehicles aged four years.

Duncan McClure Fisher, founder and chief executive of motoreasy, said: “Drivers are clearly prioritising other commitments if faults occur between annual MoT tests.

“Naturally, that comes with a risk – especially if it relates to safety-critical items like brakes, steering, power and visibility.

“That is a risk to all road users, not just the faulty vehicle and its occupants.”

According to motoreasy’s research, 24.7% of under-55s admit to ignoring necessary repair work on their vehicles. That figure falls to just 8.5% from over 55s.

The findings come as annual inflation, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index, reached 1.8% in January – its highest level since 2014.

Men are more inclined to dodge necessary car repairs than women, according to the research, which was conducted among 2,000 motorists, with 19.5% and 17.3% respectively claiming to have driven cars carrying faults like worn brake pads and discs or broken suspension springs and shock absorbers.

Warning lights – especially when intermittent – are frequently ignored, leading to costly repairs.

Drivers in the North West (14.8%) and East Midlands (15%) are least likely to skip repairs, where as those surveyed in Scotland (22.8%) were most prone to avoiding repairs because of the cost. When questioned, London (18%) motorists reflected the national average of 18.8%. 

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