Consumer, News

One in five drive faulty cars as they can’t afford repairs

New research has revealed that almost a fifth of the UK’s motorists are knowingly driving cars in need of repair – because they cannot afford to have them fixed.

The claim comes at a time when the Government is considering extending the start of MoT testing – which checks the road legality of every vehicle – from three-year-old cars to vehicles aged four years.

According to research commissioned by motoreasy, which manages car maintenance and repairs on behalf of the motorist, nearly 25% of under 55s admit to ignoring necessary repair work on their vehicles. In comparison, 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.

The survey of 2,000 motorists also revealed that men are more inclined to dodge necessary car repairs than women, 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 the least likely to skip repairs, whereas 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%. 

“Drivers are clearly prioritising other commitments if faults occur between annual MoT tests,” said Duncan McClure Fisher of motoreasy. “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.”