Motorists Face £10 Billion Bill for Unexpected Car Repairs in the Past Year

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UK motorists have collectively spent a staggering £10 billion on unexpected vehicle repairs over the last 12 months, according to a recent study. The research, which surveyed 2,000 drivers, highlighted that 68 per cent of respondents were hit with repair bills they did not anticipate. This has placed a significant financial burden on many, exacerbated by issues such as failed MoTs, damaged windscreens, and worn tyres.

Unforeseen Repairs and Financial Strain

The study, commissioned by an all-inclusive car subscription service, revealed that the average cost for these unexpected repairs was £582. Alarmingly, one in ten drivers reported paying more than £1,500 in a single transaction. A significant number of motorists have had to dip into their savings (59 per cent), borrow from friends or family (14 per cent), or even incur debt (12 per cent) to cover these unforeseen expenses.

Dashboard warning lights have been a major culprit, leading 22 per cent of respondents to pay for costly repairs. Additionally, 15 per cent of drivers faced expenses due to damaged or cracked windscreens.

The First Six Months: A Risky Period

Notably, 31 per cent of those affected by unexpected repair bills encountered issues within the first six months of purchasing their vehicle. This finding underscores the potential hidden costs associated with acquiring a new or used car.

The study’s timing is significant, coinciding with reports that pothole-related incidents have surged by 10 per cent compared to the previous year. These incidents frequently result in broken suspension springs, damaged shock absorbers, and distorted wheels, contributing to the overall increase in repair costs.

Impact on Daily Life and Finances

The financial strain of unexpected car repairs extends beyond direct costs. Twelve per cent of respondents reported postponing other important expenditures, such as home repairs, and one in 20 had to cancel planned holidays abroad. These findings highlight the broader impact that vehicle maintenance costs can have on individuals’ lives and financial stability.

Anxiety Around Routine Maintenance

Routine maintenance has also become a source of anxiety for many motorists. The research indicated that 38 per cent of unexpected repairs arose from MoT failures, while 29 per cent were linked to routine servicing. Consequently, nearly six in ten drivers (58 per cent) now fear the worst whenever their car goes for an MoT or service.

Only half of the surveyed motorists (50 per cent) are aware of their monthly car running costs. This lack of clarity may explain why 67 per cent feel nervous about purchasing or leasing a new vehicle. The study also found that the cost of living is a significant concern for 43 per cent of drivers when considering a new car, with 42 per cent worried about how changes in their financial situation could affect them.

Car Finance Options: Confusion and Concerns

When examining car finance options, the study revealed varying levels of understanding among drivers. Personal loans were the most understood (58 per cent), followed by hire purchase (49 per cent), personal leasing (32 per cent), and personal contract purchase (29 per cent). However, only 21 per cent of respondents were familiar with car subscription services, and 22 per cent admitted they did not understand any of the available car finance models.

Perceived drawbacks of personal contract purchase and personal contract hire include high upfront deposits (50 per cent), inflexible contracts (42 per cent), and long waits for vehicle delivery (23 per cent).

Benefits of Car Subscriptions

A spokesperson for the car subscription service highlighted the potential benefits of all-inclusive car subscriptions in mitigating the risks and financial uncertainties associated with traditional car ownership and finance models. They noted that the study clearly shows how many drivers have been unexpectedly burdened by repair costs. They suggested that all-inclusive car finance options could help eliminate these unexpected bills, simplify administrative tasks, and make household budgeting more predictable.

Looking Ahead

The financial impact of unexpected car repairs on UK motorists is substantial and ongoing. As the cost of living continues to rise, and with many drivers facing significant repair bills, the need for more predictable and manageable vehicle ownership models becomes increasingly apparent. All-inclusive car subscriptions may offer a viable solution, providing a buffer against unforeseen expenses and offering greater financial stability.

In conclusion, the findings underscore the importance of considering all available options when purchasing or leasing a vehicle. As the automotive landscape evolves, drivers may increasingly look towards flexible and comprehensive solutions to navigate the financial challenges associated with car ownership.

Lauren Redford
Lauren Redford
Journalist Lauren Redford is a seasoned business journalist who focuses on regional areas throughout the United Kingdom. With her expertise and dedication, Lauren brings insightful coverage of local communities and their economic landscapes. With a meticulous approach and a passion for storytelling, she uncovers stories that resonate with readers and offers a deeper understanding of the business world. Lauren's commitment to delivering accurate and engaging news makes her a valuable member of the News Write Ups team.

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