Revealed: how much drivers spend on unexpected car bills

Unexpected repair bills

UK drivers are spending £559 a year fixing unexpected problems with their cars. That’s according to a study of 2,000 motorists.

The research found that a third of motorists avoid basic maintenance, putting them at risk of nasty surprises.

London motorists spend the most, forking out £721 a year on potentially unnecessary repairs. Drivers in Leeds spend the least on bills, at £476 a year.

Over the past year, UK motorists spent more than £21 billion on problems with their cars. More often than not, it costs more to repair something than it does if you spotted the problem before it occurred.

The most common reasons for a breakdown include engine overheating (18 percent), clutch issues (17 percent), smashed windscreen (14 percent), oil issues (14 percent) and flat tyre (13 percent).

As part of the study, Holts asked drivers what event they had missed as a result of a breakdown. The top 10 answers are:

  • Important baby event
  • Job interview
  • Birthday party
  • A date
  • Parents’ evening
  • Child’s sports game
  • Child’s school concert
  • Funeral
  • Foreign holiday
  • A wedding

Who would you call when you’re left stranded by the road? Fifteen percent of drivers would call a sibling, while 10 percent would call their dad.

‘Drivers are spending excessively’

Brits putting off car repairs

Tavia Spencer, brand manager at Holts, said: “Our research highlights that drivers are spending excessively when it comes to repairs on the car, especially when many of these can be fixed at home or by the road side.

“You often don’t need to be a fully trained mechanic or savvy under the bonnet, there are simple solutions available which will reduce call-outs and lost time. 

“If drivers were more confident doing basic repairs on their cars, the money saved could be spent on more fun activities.

“While breaking down can be a real inconvenience and cause a number of disruptions, there are processes and emergency products available to help drivers get back on the road in a simple way with minimal fuss.”