RAC Cars News


Motorists Neglecting Maintenance Due To Lack Of Funds

By raccars Published

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As the cost of owning a car grows ever higher, a new survey by Car Loan 4U suggests that drivers are struggling to afford basic maintenance and repairs. This is said to be leaving cars unsafe and endangering road users.

The research revealed that 10% of car owners admitted to neglecting to carry out some basic maintenance and repair jobs which could be leaving their cars unroadworthy. The most common problems which motorists are leaving unattended include faulty wiper blades, bald tyres, cracks in the windscreen and worn brakes. Some drivers also admitted that their cars had broken brake lights and seatbelts and wing mirrors were missing.

The drivers questioned said that the reason for leaving problems unfixed was being unable to afford the cost of repairs. Car owners also said they didn't have the time to attend to their car maintenance and that they didn't have confidence in mechanics.

A quarter of car owners questioned said their vehicle needed replacing altogether but they could not afford to buy another car. Most worrying was the 14% of survey respondents who admitted that they felt unsafe driving their cars, and a further 17% claimed they didn't feel their cars were up to making long journeys. More than 10% believed that they had noticed faults and ignored them, only to have an accident or a near miss as a consequence.

One garage commented that more than 50% of tyres brought to them to be changed are completely bald and that 20% are down to webbing.

Automotive lawyer, David Barton, points out that motorists are legally responsible for their vehicles' roadworthiness. Police checks could see drivers receive three penalty points for each defect, such as broken headlights or tyres which don't meet legal requirements. In turn, this could affect your car insurance premium and, added to any other penalty points, lead to a driving ban. Police can also prosecute on a charge of dangerous driving if they consider a vehicle to be obviously dangerous. Even more seriously, an accident in an unsafe car that results in serious injury or fatalities could lead to a prison sentence.

Twenty per cent of car buyers claimed that the reason for replacing their car was because it was no longer roadworthy. While unable to afford a new car, three quarters of survey respondents believed that some older cars were no longer worth repairing and that a newer car was the only sensible and financially reasonable option.

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