Young drivers putting brakes on car maintenance

Young driver - IAM RoadSmart

New research claims that more than three-quarters of motorists aged 18-34 have delayed key vehicle checks to save money.

As drivers battle the cost of living crisis, data commissioned by the UK’s leading independent road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart, also shows almost a third (28%) of younger drivers have held off their annual car service and 30% have put off changing their oil.

Key tyre checks have also been put on hold, with 30% of younger drivers surveyed also admitting putting off fixing a puncture, and 28% 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% of all drivers, of all ages, said their annual car service is on the backburner thanks to the rise in living costs, with 11% avoiding paying out for necessary tyre changes.

Which of the following repairs/improvements have you put off/delayed making to your car as a result of the cost-of-living crisis?
TotalTotal (all ages)18-34
Service15%28%
Tyre change, eg replacing a tyre with low tread11%28%
Tyre repair, eg fixing a puncture7%22%
Oil change9%30%
None of these61%21%

“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.” said Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart.

“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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