Drivers avoiding vehicle maintenance as cost-of-living crisis bites

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Motorists are increasingly delaying vehicle servicing and maintenance in a bid to save money, data shows

Drivers across the UK are putting off vital car safety checks to help save money as they battle the cost-of-living crisis – with younger drivers most likely to skip on important maintenance.

New data commissioned by the UK’s leading independent road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart, shows that over three quarters (79 per cent) of motorists aged 18-34 have delayed key vehicle checks to save money.

Almost one third (28 per cent) of drivers under 34 years-old have held off their annual car service due to the cost of living crisis, and 30 per cent have put off changing their oil.

Key tyre checks have also been put on hold, with 30 per cent of younger drivers surveyed also admitting putting off fixing a puncture, and 28 per cent delaying changing tyres with low tread.

But it’s not just younger drivers who are making tough choices on car upkeep.

The data also found that 15 per cent of all drivers, of all ages, said their annual car service is on the backburner thanks to the rise in living costs, with 11 per cent avoiding paying out for necessary tyre changes.

Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart, said: “Rising living costs are at the front of mind for everyone this year, especially young people, many of whom are likely to be hit the hardest.

“So, while this data is not surprising, it is very worrying that drivers are putting off essential repairs.

“This study shows that drivers are already making difficult choices about what they can and cannot afford, which could negatively impact the environment, their safety and the safety of other road users.

“Servicing doesn’t just look good in a log book, it’s there for a reason, and can pick up a range of issues which could present safety risks to drivers, if not spotted.

“It also ensures that your car’s engine is running as efficiently as possible, so ignoring servicing guidelines could cost you more in the long run-in repairs or increased fuel consumption.

“Likewise, tyre health has a hugely important role to play in car and road safety.

“Tyres with low-tread depth have less road grip, and might be illegal, so it is of concern that motorists are sadly having to put off these vital repairs.

“There is no doubt that as living costs rise, motorists are feeling the squeeze, but we urge drivers to consider the safety implications of avoiding vital repairs, especially any which may be a legal requirement and could lead to more expensive costs down the line – or worse, risking their lives or other road users.

“Key behaviour changes, such as driving more economically to reduce fuel consumption, can be a way to cut costs without cutting safety.”

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