Motorists are driving older cars but struggling with maintenance costs as household budgets are squeezed
The UK’s cost-of-living crisis is creating “a risk to road safety” as drivers struggle with maintenance costs for an aging car parc, Halfords chief executive has warned.
Graham Stapleton of Halfords claims increased pressure on household budgets, amid rising energy bills, could have a knock-on effect for road safety.
He said: “Based on what we’re seeing in our garages and taking into account continuing issues with the supply of new cars, we believe the average age of cars will pass the nine-year mark very soon and could even creep above 10 years before the cost-of-living crisis eases.
“This presents a real challenge for the secretary of state for transport.
“Vehicle reliability has improved in recent years but there is no getting away from the fact that older cars are more likely to develop faults, are more costly to maintain, and are more polluting.
“This represents a risk to road safety, yet another squeeze on motorists’ wallets, and a threat to the UK’s emissions reduction goals.”
The warning came as the group reported higher sales over the past 20 weeks, boosted by its expanding car repairs business following the takeover Axle Group, the owner of the National Tyre servicing brand.
Revenues grew by 9.2 per cent over the 20 weeks to 19 August compared with the same period last year.
Sales were more than 30 per cent higher than the same period last year.
Stapleton added: “We are working extremely hard to help our customers with the cost-of-living crisis and have dropped prices across nearly 2,000 motoring essentials, ensuring that products remain accessible and affordable for all.
“Our motoring loyalty club is also proving to be extremely popular and has already attracted over half a million members since its launch in March.
“Over 70 per cent of our sales now come from motoring products and services, and the fact that this area of spend tends to be more needs-based rather than discretionary is leading to a very resilient group performance despite the wider macroeconomic uncertainty.”
Auto Torque has partnered with Garage Wire to bring you all the latest aftermarket news.