Car Maintenance: Will the Cost of Living Crisis Cause Drivers to Neglect Maintenance?

With the nation gripped by a cost-of-living crisis, the Motor Ombudsman is concerned drivers will delay or cancel servicing their vehicles this year in a bid to save money, which could not only devalue their engines but increase the risks. of security.

Nearly one in three drivers in a new survey said they intend to spend less on motorsports this year due to tight budgets.

Nearly a quarter of drivers without a prepaid service plan for their car will delay their annual motor service this year, while a third said they will miss it altogether in a bid to cut costs, the survey of 2,000 motorists revealed. .

Car maintenance cost-of-living crisis concerns: A survey of drivers found a worrying number plan to delay or cancel their annual vehicle service this year to adjust their already stretched budgets

Car maintenance cost-of-living crisis concerns: A survey of drivers found a worrying number plan to delay or cancel their annual vehicle service this year to adjust their already stretched budgets

Many Britons are feeling the pressure thanks to a combination of spiraling costs hitting them at the same time.

The new energy price cap has sent bills skyrocketing for those without a solution, while increases in council and vehicle excise taxes also from early April will be an added burden for many.

These increases come on top of the record cost of gasoline and diesel at the pumps, and March saw the largest monthly increase in fuel prices in history.

Add to the mix this week’s National Insurance hike on top of already rising inflation that is making products on shelves even more expensive and your plan to see people feel a pressure on finances that hasn’t been felt for decades. .

As individuals and families understandably seek to cut spending, the Motor Ombudsman is concerned that automobiles become an easy target to cut back.

The organization says that, in addition to an annual technical inspection for cars three years old or older, an annual service is important to keep vehicles roadworthy and safe for occupants and other road users.

However, it also has a huge impact on a car’s value, as a lack of service intervals is generally seen as a sign of poor owner maintenance, which could limit the vehicle’s selling price when the time comes. to replace it.

The study found that female car owners (57%), people living in Wales (66%) and people aged 45-54 (64%) are most likely to delay or skip car service this year.

The study found that female car owners (57%), people living in Wales (66%) and people aged 45-54 (64%) are most likely to delay or skip car service this year.

Bill Fennell, Chief Ombudsman, said that, with the current cost of living conditions being endured in Britain at the moment, it is “inevitable that something has to give”.

“Our study has shown that vehicle servicing and maintenance are considered less of a priority,” he explained.

The biggest concern about the cost of living crisis for motorists

The rise in electricity bills since April: 88.4% worried

Gasoline and diesel prices: 86.6% worried

Increase in inflation: 85.5% worried

Increase in Social Security contributions: 69.2% worried

Possible additional increases in interest rates on mortgage payments: 57.4% worried

Source: Motor Ombudsman survey of 2,000 motorists

This is, of course, worrying.

“Not following the vehicle manufacturer’s maintenance schedule and not taking your car to a shop to have it checked by a professional in the event of any mechanical issues is essentially compromising the safety and value of the vehicle.”

The study found that female car owners (57 per cent), people living in Wales (66 per cent) and people aged 45 to 54 (64 per cent) are more likely to delay or skip car service than this year.

When the 2,000 car owners were also asked how else they planned to reduce their automotive spending this year, which applied to 68 per cent of the panel, there were five key areas they intended to focus on.

Three in five said they plan to use their vehicle less, 47 percent will walk or bike more often, nearly a quarter (24 percent) will make better use of public transportation, around 32 percent will drive more efficient when behind. the wheel and a quarter will search for the best insurance deals.

Halfords also expressed concern that many drivers will not be able to afford service and repairs due to the higher cost of living, and some will have to rely on credit cards to pay for essential vehicle maintenance.

Halfords also expressed concern that many drivers will not be able to afford service and repairs due to the higher cost of living, and some will have to rely on credit cards to pay for essential vehicle maintenance.

And the Motor Ombudsman isn’t alone in raising concerns about Britons trying to cut their motoring costs by taking potentially dangerous shortcuts with their car maintenance.

Steps drivers will take this year to cut motoring costs

They use their car less: 60.2%

Walk or bike instead of driving: 47.1%

Drive more efficiently to save fuel: 31.8%

Find cheaper car insurance: 25.7%

Use public transport more often: 23.7%

Source: Motor Ombudsman survey of 2,000 motorists

Halfords also conducted a survey of 2,000 drivers this month and found that nearly half (45 percent) are concerned about the cost of essential car maintenance, with nearly a third saying they will struggle to pay for car maintenance as a result of the increase. of living costs. .

When the company asked these drivers if they had ever missed a technical inspection of their car, more than one in 10 (12 per cent) admitted that they had said it was because they could not afford it.

Many also admitted that they had to rely on credit cards to pay for essential car maintenance, especially nearly two in five who said they are often caught off guard by unforeseen essential maintenance costs, such as spare tires, windshield wiper blades and more. brake pads.

The survey found that the average money spent on car maintenance over the past 12 months was £274.40, with some spending £1,000 or more (3 per cent).

Halfords customer care manager Karen Bellairs said: “The cost of motoring in the UK is rising faster than inflation and, worryingly, our research has found that many drivers are struggling to cope with the bills, which means that some people miss out on booking an ITV test”.

SAVE MONEY ON CAR

L&C logo

Some links in this article may be affiliate links. If you click on them, we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money and keep it free to use. We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any business relationship to affect our editorial independence.

Leave a Comment