Young drivers putting off car repairs in bid to save money

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Nov 2, 2022

Car maintenance

More than a third of drivers aged 17 to 24 (37%) are putting off necessary repairs to their vehicles in an attempt to cut their outgoings as the cost-of-living crisis bites< according to new research.

The 2022 RAC Report on Motoring also found nearly a fifth of young people (16%) say they are delaying getting major repairs made – which might include work such as replacing a handbrake or cracked windscreen.

However, a huge 28% are putting off other repairs, which include fixing minor oil leaks or replacing brake discs.

What’s more, young drivers are more than twice as likely (37%) as average (14%) to say they have deliberately delayed getting any repair work completed, with those who drive cars over 10 years of age (19%) and who live in town or city centre areas (25%) also significantly more likely to put work off.

Perhaps surprisingly, drivers of all ages are more inclined to skip repairs in a bid to save money than they are to either reduce how often they get their vehicles serviced or switch to a cheaper insurer.

Just one-in-10 of all drivers (9%) say they are servicing their vehicles less frequently and 13% say they have got a cheaper insurance policy, compared to 14% who have put off getting repairs done.

“Without question, putting off vehicle repairs or skipping routine servicing are both false economies, but these figures show in all-too-stark terms just how many drivers, especially younger ones, feel they have to do this to lower their spending in the face of rising prices,” 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.

“What’s more, not getting work to a car done means the chances of it letting a driver down shoots up, making it potentially less safe.

“And as the average age of cars on our roads is getting older due to fewer people trading up to new cars, it looks as though many of them will also be in a poorer overall state of repair which is bad news for everyone using the roads.”

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