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Revealed: bad ‘carma’ victims

Used blue cars bought seven-and-a-half months ago are the unluckiest cars, according to new research.

Bad ‘carma’ is an all-too-common curse among Britain’s 30m car owners with more than two-thirds (68%) of motorists claiming to have had at least one vehicle which has been dogged with bad luck.

While one in three motorists (29%) surveyed by RAC Cars say they have owned a car that has been beset by bad luck – whether that’s unreliability, suffering damage inside and out or being involved in a series of accidents – there are some unfortunate owners who seem to be personally plagued as they have suffered with multiple vehicles.

A fifth (22%) have had to put up with two ‘cursed’ cars while at the other end of the scale, a seriously unlucky 2% confess to having had bad luck with between six and 10 vehicles in their driving lives.

Unreliability and breaking down topped the ‘bad luck list’ with nearly six in 10 (59%) owners saying they had experienced this with one of their motors.

Just under a third (29%) had had the worst luck with the high cost of repairs whereas a similar percentage (28%) said their car had been afflicted as it had been involved in an accident and a fifth (18%) said their vehicle was prone to suffering damage. Interestingly, a really unlucky 2% revealed they had bought a car which had had its mileage clocked leaving them in a precarious situation.

In the majority of cases the problems occurred with used cars (71%) and, on average, unreliability issues materialised 7.7 months after they were bought.

While 15% experienced issues with new cars, a similar percentage (14%) had had problems with both new and used motors.

And, RAC Cars’ analysis of the colour of luckless vehicles showed blue cars were named most often as the cause of despair, with 14% of those surveyed saying they had had the most issues with a blue car. Red came a close second with 12% of the vote, followed by silver – 7%; green and white were tied on 6% while black brought up the rear on 5%.

In terms of the amount of money spent on sorting out ‘bad luck’ issues with cars, the average cost – from the 39% of motorists surveyed who recalled what they had forked out – was £1,719. With the average value of a used car estimated to be around £8,000 this means some people are forking out in the region of a quarter of the purchase price of their vehicle.

For some owners it seems the problems were an ongoing source of frustration with four in 10 (40%) saying their vehicles had ‘lots of different things’ that went wrong with them, whereas a third (33%) said they had a mechanical issue that never seemed to be sorted out, and a similar percentage (32%) experienced an electronic issue that could just not be fixed.

“Very few motorists seem to escape the clutches of bad ‘carma’ with the majority having owned at least one car which has caused them more than their fair share of trouble,” said RAC Cars’ Simon Williams.

“While our research showed some 15% of people have had issues with new cars, the majority have understandably had problems with used vehicles.

“This makes the old adage: ‘you make your own luck’ even more appropriate as there are plenty of things you can do to limit your chances of being caught out by ‘bad carma’.

“Even though some bad luck clearly can’t be avoided buyers can take a few simple proactive checks to avoid enduring lots of future hassle and never-ending worry.”

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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