New research shows 34 percent of motorists have sacrificed travel plans to afford car repairs. That figure rises to 44 percent for younger drivers between 18 and 24 years old.
The average cost of an unexpected car repair adds up to £584.48 – and 76 percent of the 2,000 drivers surveyed said they’ve been lumped with such a cost. So how are those who need to cut back, cutting back? Nearly half (47 percent) percent have sacrificed a holiday from their near-future plans.
One in three have also cut back on birthday gifts for friends and family. And 12 percent have even postponed their wedding plans to free up funds. Christmas frequently takes a hit, too, with 40 percent saying they have slashed the festive budget to cover a potential motoring bill.
Costs lead to putting off repairs
In total, 22 percent of drivers have struggled to pay an unexpected car bill. That rises to one in three for younger drivers. Attempts to cover the cost include borrowing money from friends and family (33 percent), using a credit card (52 percent) and selling possessions (three percent).
Worryingly, many drivers put off repairs when they know their car needs them. More than a quarter (27 percent) said they’d done so due to cost worries – and 16 percent said they’d actually broken down because of a known issue.
One in four have actually scrapped or sold a car due to a repair they couldn’t afford. And 18 percent have worsened an issue with bad DIY repairs.
“Getting an unexpected car repair bill is an unwelcome surprise at the best of times, but we were shocked at how many drivers are putting off repairing their car or sacrificing holiday spending to afford essential repair work,” said Martin Barber from Halfords, which commissioned the survey.