Brits driving their cars into the ground

More than half of British drivers don’t get problems with their cars checked until three months after they have appeared, according to new research.

A survey of more than 1,000 British drivers conducted by BookMyGarage, found that Britons are risking road accidents, worsening damage and steeper repair bills, as a result of not getting issues fixed in good time when they appear.

The survey found that 21% will wait for six months or more before getting issues checked, a worrying 12% will drive in a vehicle experiencing faults by up to a year and 63% of UK drivers confess they are currently driving with a fault in their vehicle, which they have yet to have checked out.

Karen Rotberg, director at BookMyGarage said, ‘These findings are really quite worrying. The data from our survey suggests that more than 1 in 2 cars currently being driven on UK roads have some sort of problem which hasn’t been looked over by a professional – and, worse, many will wait more than three months before having it checked out.’

‘Drivers are not only putting their cars at risk of further damage, caused by existing problems worsening over time, which is likely to result in more significant bills, but in some cases they will be putting themselves, their loved ones and other road users in serious danger. Many problems can be easily and inexpensively solved if they are looked over by a qualified mechanic within good time of them emerging.’

The survey also found that more than one in four Brits skip the recommended annual service.

According to the survey the problem drivers most commonly ignore is an illuminated engine management light, which can come on as a result of a small inexpensive part being worn, such as a hose which could cost as little as £25 to replace. However, if ignored, the problem can cause further widespread damage costing up to £500-£1500 to fix.

The second most commonly neglected problem is a worn wheel bearing, which costs under £100 to repair if dealt with when first noticed, however, if left untreated can damage the stub axle, brakes and cost anything from £300-£1500 in additional repairs.

Car recovery without breakdown cover can also add to mounting repair costs if small problems are ignored.

Survey data also highlighted the top car components which Brits most commonly experience issues with were clutch, windows, exhaust, brakes, wheels and lights.

Surprisingly, it was 35-44 year olds who were the most guilty of driving with a fault, with 47% confessing to do so, followed by 45-54 year olds – suggesting drivers are more likely to become complacent with faults as they become more experienced.