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Cost of ignoring car warning lights

Two-thirds of British drivers have ignored warning signs that something isn’t quite right with their car at least once.

That worrying claims is the result of new research from money-saving brand, Vouchercloud.

According to the survey, the check engine light flicking on, plus odd noises underneath the car and problems with wheel alignment are the most common issues ignored, with the majority finding their garage bills increase by up to £500 because of this “head-in-the-sand-attitude”.

Vouchercloud spoke to 2,396 motorists aged 18 and over, all of whom stated that they had held a full UK driving licence for at least 12 months and owned their own car, as part of ongoing research into the financial cost of having and maintaining a car.

They were specifically quizzed about their car maintenance and how quickly they responded when they suspected there was an issue.

Initially, all respondents were asked ‘Have you ever had any issues with your car that have been a cause for concern, but that you’ve ignored, at least initially?’ to which 67% of respondents stated ‘yes, I’ve delayed getting it checked’.

Those who said they’d waited to have their car checked were asked why, to which the most common responses were ‘I was hoping it was nothing and would just go away’ (35%), ‘I couldn’t afford to put my car in the garage’ (34%) and ‘it had happened before so I just got used to it’ (24%).

All those questioned who ignored issues were then asked roughly how long they had ignored the apparent issue/s for before they had decided to get it looked it, or before it was too late, with the most common responses being ‘2 to 6 months’ (45%), ‘up to 1 month’ (41%) or ‘6 months or longer’ (14%).

Top warning signs ignored

  1.  The check engine check light coming on – 59%
  2. Odd noises coming from underneath the car – 57%
  3. Alignment, when the car pulls to one side or the other – 48%
  4. The windscreen wipers, when they’re not clearing the window properly – 40%
  5. When the tyre pressure is low and the car doesn’t drive as smoothly – 23%

When asked if they felt it had cost them more in the long run by holding off getting the issues checked out, 82% of respondents felt that it had. 38% felt it had added on ‘between £251 and £500’ and 31% felt it had added on ‘between £50 and £250’, with the remaining respondents stating it had either ‘added on ‘£501 or more’ (24%) or ‘caused the car to be written off’.

“A car is one of the few things you should listen to at all times,” said Voluchercloud’s Chris Johnson. “It’s not just a means to get you from point A to point B, it’s a huge metal monster; something small could have disastrous consequences for yourself and others – it’s not worth taking the risk.”

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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2 comments

  1. This is not surprising! it can be easy to ignore the warning lights when your car appears to be running fine

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