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The alarming trend of young drivers avoiding vehicle repairs

By Mathilda Bartholomew | December 1, 2023

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Inflation and the escalating cost-of-living crisis have become significant factors leading young drivers to neglect the proper maintenance of their vehicles.

The alarming trend of young drivers avoiding vehicle repairs

Research from the RAC has revealed a significant portion of young drivers aged 17-24 (26%) are delaying essential car repairs to cut costs, with nearly three-in-10 (28%) neglecting regular vehicle servicing.

Alarmingly, 17% admit to risking safety by avoiding tyre replacements. This contrasts sharply with the broader driver population, where only around 8% make such cutbacks.

Overall, 38% of drivers are reducing car-related expenses, including opting for cheaper insurance (19%), less frequent servicing (12%), or delaying necessary repairs (11%). However, a striking 64% of young drivers have implemented some form of motoring cutbacks.

Of concern for road safety, 6% of this age group confess to intentionally skipping their annual MOT, and 9% have completely stopped servicing their vehicles. Make sure you keep your car's MOT up to date - check yours here.

The RAC's data also reveals that 69% of surveyed drivers, regardless of age, have experienced a rise in servicing and repair costs in the past year (compared to 62% in 2022).

Notably, over three-quarters of those under 25 (77%) feel the impact of rising prices on their motoring expenses. Regions most affected by these increases are the South West (76%), Wales (76%), and London (70%).

Additionally, 87% of young drivers have adjusted their vehicle usage to save money, compared to 76% of drivers of all ages. Tactics include avoiding pricier fuel stations (46%), driving more efficiently (48%), and reducing the number of long-distance trips (35%).

RAC Breakdown spokesperson Rod Dennis emphasises the worrisome trend, linking it to the broader issues of inflation and the cost-of-living crisis. He underscores the potential risks associated with reduced car maintenance and advocates for continued support of regular MOTs to ensure road safety.

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