Cost of living crisis has young drivers delaying car repairs

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A new RAC study shows 37% of young drivers are avoiding car repairs in an attempt to save money during the cost of living crisis.

Not only does this raise alarm bells around the safety of our roads, but it’s said to be a “false economy” that can put drivers even more out of pocket. 

Steering clear of garage bills

The RAC poll of 3,102 motorists saw over a third of drivers aged between 17 and 24 putting off car repairs in a bid to save money.

28% of young drivers were found to be postponing minor repairs, such as fixing small oil leaks or replacing worn brake discs.

Around 16% of the young drivers surveyed said they are saving for “major” repairs, such as the fixing of defective handbrakes or cracked windscreens.

Across all ages, the poll revealed 14% of drivers are skipping repairs and 9% are having fewer vehicle services.

Safety concerns around delayed car repairs

As we head into dangerous winter driving conditions, the avoidance of car repairs has many questioning the safety of our roads.

Data shows that dodgy brakes, worn tyres and defective lights caused a rise in road casualties last year. Defective and poorly maintained vehicles contributed to 1,759 road accidents involving injury, with faulty brakes being the most common defect reported. 

“Not getting work to a car done means the chances of it letting a driver down shoots up, making it potentially less safe,” said RAC spokesman Rod Dennis.

“The fact over a third of young drivers are deliberately delaying getting their vehicles fixed to cut costs is actually a harbinger of future unwelcome – and possibly far larger – garage bills.”

He added that the government could help to reiterate the importance of essential repairs and maintenance by “permanently shelving its unpopular idea” of extending the frequency of MOTs from every year to every two years.

“The MOT is the backstop when it comes to ensuring all vehicles using the roads are roadworthy.”

Our UK roads may be some of the safest in the world, but the onus is on us to make sure our cars are safe to drive. Learn more about the MOT test.

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