Apr 292009
 

posesHI_COLOR.0003More than half of Britain’s motorists would struggle to pay if their car broke down, according to research from leading insurance specialist, Warranty Direct.

As the credit crunch continues to ravage the economy, 53 percent of drivers admit that the tightening of belts means they can ill afford the average repair bill of £273. According to Warranty Direct data, one in three will suffer a mechanical failure annually*.

Although nearly three quarters (72%) of the 3,000 owners surveyed claim that they would be lost without their cars, more than 5 million said budgets were so tight that they wouldn’t be able to stump up anything at all to keep their car on the road**.

“This is worrying – some motorists are just burying their heads in the sand,” said Warranty Direct’s Duncan McClure Fisher. “In the short term you might save a bit of cash by not servicing your car, but eventually it is going to need work doing on it and you’re only increasing the likelihood that it’s going to be a very expensive repair job on a ‘mobility-fatal’ part.”

Most expensive parts to repair

Part Average cost Maximum cost
Auto transmission £987.17 £2,726.26
Manual transmission £859.21 £4,869.62
Engine £630.64 £5,297.70
Air conditioning unit £422.66 £1,421.82

 

The research also found that a third of owners are now considering extending their service interval this year to save money.

Ironically, drivers in rural Northern Ireland and the North West, who say they are most dependant on their cars (84% and 80% respectively), are also the least able to pay in the event of a breakdown, with 59% of motorists in both areas unable to meet the average repair cost.

Car owners in more affluent areas like London, the South East and East Anglia, are the most likely to be able to pay for ‘mobility-fatal’ failures, with drivers in the capital the most comfortable with the loss of their cars, at 2 in 5.

Apr 082009
 

potholes £100 millionMotorists are paying out an estimated £1 million every day in repairs because of Britain’s potholed roads with the problem worsening the further North you go, according to data published by campaign website, Potholes.co.uk.

Analysing data from leading consumer warranty provider Warranty Direct’s insurance policies* over an eight-year period, six percent of cars each year suffer from axle and suspension damage that can be traced back to poor road quality. With some claims as high as £2710 and an average repair cost of £240, this equates to a potential £413 million a year, or £1.1 million each day, for UK motorists**.

Of the 10 worst rated regions for axle and suspension failures, five are in Scotland and four in Northern England, while nine of the 10 lowest failure rates were recorded in the South of England. Ayrshire in Scotland has the highest rate in Britain, where14% of cars each year require repairs relating to poor road quality. By contrast, in Oxfordshire only 4% of cars suffer similar failures each year.

“It’s incredible how clear a North-South divide these figures appear to show,” said Warranty Direct’s Managing Director, Duncan McClure Fisher. “Either continuous driving over cracked or uneven road surfaces, or the sudden jolting of a deep pothole, can cause damage to shock absorbers, springs, upper and lower arms and stabiliser bars and this appears to be happening more in Scotland than anywhere else. Whether this is due to colder weather causing more Northern roads to crack or just poor maintenance, it seems to underline a clear difference in the condition of highways across the country.”

The figures were released to coincide with the re-launch of Potholes.co.uk – a website created to give people advice on what to do if they suffer cost or injury because of poor roads.

Warranty Direct launched Potholes.co.uk in 2007 to give motorists a chance to do something about potholes. Anyone who spots a pothole can report it to a local council through the site, as well as warning other motorists about it. And if their car has suffered damage because of a pothole, the site gives details of how to make a claim against a local council.

Suspension Failure rates across the UK by region

Position Region Percentage

1

Ayrshire

14.05%

2

Northumberland

13.84%

3

Renfrewshire

13.58%

4

Angus

13.36%

5

County Durham

13.07%

6

Aberdeenshire

11.60%

7

North Yorkshire

11.21%

8

Warwickshire

10.56%

9

Lanarkshire

10.48%

10

Tyne and Wear

10.23%

11

Suffolk

10.14%

12

Midlothian

9.88%

13

Gwent

9.59%

14

County Antrim

9.48%

15

Nottinghamshire

9.33%

16

Norfolk

8.98%

17

North Humberside

8.97%

18

Derbyshire

8.93%

19

Leicestershire

8.86%

20

West Yorkshire

8.80%

21

Worcestershire

8.73%

22

Northamptonshire

8.62%

23

Fife

8.51%

24

Lincolnshire

8.30%

25

South Yorkshire

8.07%

26

South Glamorgan

7.90%

27

Cambridgeshire

7.83%

28

Dyfed

7.82%

29

Middlesex

7.70%

30

Cheshire

7.06%

31

Staffordshire

6.94%

32

Lancashire

6.90%

33

Devon

6.86%

34

Avon

6.83%

35

Cumbria

6.73%

36

Cleveland

6.62%

37

London

6.61%

38

Hampshire

6.58%

39

Berkshire

6.55%

40

Merseyside

6.24%

41

West Midlands

6.15%

42

Essex

6.11%

43

Cornwall

5.88%

44

Hertfordshire

5.67%

45

Somerset

5.40%

46

Buckinghamshire

5.27%

47

West Sussex

5.27%

48

East Sussex

5.27%

49

Dorset

5.08%

50

Kent

5.04%

51

Surrey

4.97%

52

Wiltshire

4.97%

53

Bedfordshire

4.75%

54

Gloucestershire

4.50%

55

Shropshire

4.29%

56

Oxfordshire

4.20%