Nov 272015
 

In the last two years more than four million car owners have had to keep their car off the road because they couldn’t afford repairs needed on their vehicle. With 21 million owners saying they have needed repairs in the last two years, this could mean that one in five (19%) have been forced to go without their car while they got their finances in order.

That’s according to Kwik Fit, the automotive repair and servicing company, who also revealed half of these motorists (2 million) had to keep their car off the road for a month or longer.

A shortage of money has driven many drivers to make some risky decisions.  Over 1.2 million drivers admitted to having driven their car in an unroadworthy condition because they couldn’t afford repairs with men twice as likely as women to have done so.

Many drivers carry out repairs themselves, which is obviously not a problem in itself.  However, a third of car owners who either carried out a repair themselves or had a friend or relative do it for them say they were concerned about the quality of that repair.  In a cautionary tale for second hand car buyers, nearly half a million motorists say that although they were concerned about their DIY repairs they didn’t do anything about it as they sold the car soon afterwards.

The study also gave an indication that the policy of prevention being better than cure is as relevant to our cars as it is to our bodies.   More than three quarters (77%) of those skipping their car’s annual service had to get repairs carried out on their car in the last two years.  The equivalent figure for those who maintained their car’s annual service record was 56%, suggesting that regular servicing helps keep the need for repairs at bay.

Jun 242015
 

story1Carrying out simple checks and basic driveway DIY could prevent 1.5 million MoT failures every year, according to Warranty Direct.

Research conducted by the leading used vehicle warranty provider indicates that doing basic maintenance and replacing some accessible car parts at home could slash the number of MoT failures recorded in the UK each year.

With a current national MoT failure rate of 39.52%** and a government set maximum MoT price of £54.85** there has never been a better time to undertake some driveway DIY.

Increasingly complex cars put many motorists off maintaining their own cars, but the list of simple jobs that can mean the difference between passing and failing an MoT includes changing light bulbs, replacing windscreen washer fluid and checking parts like wipers and tyres.

Warranty Direct managing director, David Gerrans, said: “It never ceases to amaze us how many MoT failures could be avoided with the simplest of pre-test checks. Things such as making sure there are no cracks in your number plate, your wheels and tyres are undamaged and ensuring there are no tears or holes in the windscreen wiper rubbers are all things the motorist can do at home, but if left to test day can be the cause of MoT failure.”

An empty screen wash container can also cause an MoT fail, as can blown headlights, sidelights, rear lights, hazard lights and indicators all of which could mean forking out for a re-test.

See the table below for the top 10 things a motorist should check before an impending MoT test.

For even the most anxious home mechanic, everyday actions, such as ensuring your vehicle is filled with enough fuel and engine oil, will ensure you are not turned away from an MoT for having insufficient levels of fluids required for testing.

*SMMT MoT Data
** MoT Angel Data

Table1