Apr 2014 | Motorists Continue To Cut Corners
Most drivers (47%) spend more disposable income on their car than anything else according to new figures from Halfords Autocentres - well ahead of holidays (21%) and socialising with friends (13%).
As a consequence, 1 in 10 continue to cut back on car maintenance in a bid to save money (equivalent to 2.8 million cars), with 41% placing the reliability and safety of their car last on the list of motoring concerns.
The findings are in a new report from the independent garage business, which show despite the economic upturn motorists' behaviour hasn't changed and they continue to make some ill-advised compromises to car maintenance and safety.
Rory Carlin from Halfords Autocentres explains: "Despite a rise in personal earnings, stable inflation and fuel prices that are at a three-year low, drivers feel that they are already paying a high enough price for their motoring and are unwilling to spend more on anything they feel is unnecessary.
"However, car maintenance isn't just necessary it is essential and we have uncovered some shocking admissions that are likely to be a hangover from the recession."
Of the drivers that admitted to cutting back on maintenance to save money, 60% are no longer servicing their cars in line with manufacturers' guidelines ? a figure almost unchanged from the more austere financial times of 2012.
A worryingly high percentage (43%) also reported waiting to replace tyres until they are at or below the legal minimum (1.6mm), 32% are not investigating fresh noises or dashboard warning lights and 25% said they had avoided replacing brake pads.
Commenting on the findings, Maria McCarthy author of The Girls' Car Handbook added: "A lack of technical know-how and the complexity of modern cars can make maintenance a daunting prospect.
"Find a garage you trust, or get a friend to recommended one, and build a rapport with them that will enable you to discuss which repairs are essential and which are advisory - then budget for on-going maintenance.
"If your car is under warranty, this is doubly important and you've got to be very on the ball about having services done at the right time or you risk it becoming invalid."
To read Halfords Autocentres' research in full visit Friend of the Motorist Study 2014.