An estimated 3.8 million UK drivers decided to keep their current vehicle having previously decided to sell it after spending money on repairs, research by Kwik Fit has found.
The fast-fit operator's study revealed that drivers changed their mind about swapping their current car after spending money on repairs or maintenance, with one third of drivers - some 14.5 million motorists - saying they have done this with either a previous car or their current vehicle.
Consumer research released from CarGuide has revealed that COVID-19 has stopped almost a third of UK drivers (32%) from changing their car in 2020.
The average amount spent on repairs was £928 and the average time they kept their car was an average of one year and two months beyond the point which they originally decided to replace it.
One-in-10 respondents said they spent less than £250 and kept their car for on average, another year.
Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, said: “The research shows that although there is undoubted appeal in getting a new car, when it comes to the crunch, many of us realise it makes financial sense to stick with the one we have got for a bit longer.
“We’ve seen that some drivers have spent less than £250 on repairs and kept their car for another year, which at £20 a month is great value for money. In an environment where everyone is looking to make all types of products last longer, it’s no surprise that many drivers are investing in maintenance and repairs of their existing vehicles.”
The study also found that car owners in London and the South East are most likely to have given their car a second chance, with 41% and 39% of drivers in these regions saying they have kept a vehicle after paying for repairs.
Kwik Fit said this may be due to these drivers having paid the most in repairs, with average bills of £1,233 and £1,033 respectively leading to a change of heart and a reprieve for their car.
Drivers in Wales and the East of England are the least likely to have changed their mind, with only 23% of Welsh drivers and under a quarter (24%) of motorists in the East holding on to their vehicle after paying for repairs.
When asked why they had changed their minds, the most common reason given was that the repairs had made their car safe and reliable, stated by 29% of drivers.
The next most frequently stated reason was that car owners wanted to get value for money from their investment in repairs (27% of drivers), followed by the fact that having work done on their current car would be cheaper than trading it in for a new one (25%).
While most drivers made their decisions on financial reasons, one in six (16%) admitted that they just didn’t want the hassle of having to swap their car, while 15% said they could not find a replacement they liked as much as their existing one.
Car services has been skipped by around 12.5 million UK motorists left cash-strapped by COVID-19, according to research by BookMyGarage.