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Short cut to expensive motoring

One in five car owners have skipped maintenance or repairs in the last year, according to new research.

The study carried out for Kwik Fit also revealed that many of these seven million drivers are well aware that their neglect will prove more costly in the long run.

Almost half (45%) of those neglecting their car’s servicing or maintenance said that they would be spending more as a result of the delays, with the additional bill for UK drivers totalling £153.9 million.

Londoners are more likely to have skipped maintenance than car owners anywhere else in the UK, with a third (33%) having done so in the past 12 months.

And in a clear warning to the capital’s second hand car-buyers, the most common reason given by London car owners for skipping maintenance or repairs is because they were planning to sell the car.

The south west’s motorists are the most conscientious with only 13% of the region’s car owners say they have skipped servicing or maintenance in the last year – with almost half (47%) of them saying they have done so because they are driving fewer miles.

More experienced car owners clearly see the benefit of keeping on top of their car’s maintenance – amongst the over 65s only 8% have skipped servicing over the last year, compared to 40% of owners aged between 18-24.

Older drivers also have a greater appreciation of the cost of delaying work. Those over 65 who have skipped on servicing believe the delays add an average of £101.44 to their eventual bill, while those under 24 think the additional cost is only £41.

Top reasons for skipping car servicing, repairs or maintenance in the last 12 months

  1. Financial constraints
  2. Driving fewer miles
  3. Planning to sell the car
  4. Don’t believe cars need servicing as often as stated by the manufacturers
  5. Will service it myself, but I have not yet got round to it
  6. Skipped for other reasons

Kwik Fit’s Roger Griggs believes more drivers should appreciate that neglecting maintenance can compromise safety as well as having a financial impact.

“The old adage of a stitch in time saves nine remains as true today as when our grandmothers first told it to us as children,” he added.

About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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