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Millions of drivers face insurance risk as half admit putting off essential servicing in 2020

Millions of drivers face insurance risk as half admit putting off essential servicing in 2020

Study found a quarter said they were knowingly driving on unfit tyres

Nearly half of UK drivers have put off servicing or essential car maintenance across 2020, according to a new study from  

The study from the financial comparison service found that 48% of drivers had delayed repairs or services for their vehicle across the coronavirus pandemic, as average mileage has plummeted, and MOT’s have been deferred.

The survey of motorists found that just under a fifth (17%) are driving with at least one service light or warning sign on their vehicle, with more than half (64%) of those saying they didn’t see the point in addressing the issue immediately as they rarely use their vehicle.

Overall, just under a third (28%) of drivers said they had one or more warning lights currently on their vehicle or were driving with known issues with their car.

Tyre maintenance was the most commonly ignored issue, with the majority (68%) of drivers saying they hadn’t checked their tires since the beginning of the year. Of those who had inspected their tyres, more than quarter (26%) said they knew their tyres needed to be replaced but hadn’t done so citing cost (32%), availability (12%), and lack of large journeys (40%) as the main reason.

According to the research, the average UK mileage has dropped by more than half to an estimated average of just 3,500 miles a year, since the start of the year. This is down from 8,000 in 2019. As a result, the study found drivers were less likely to pay attention to service lights and other required maintenance.

Other maintenance issues likely to be ignored included, interim services (38%), oil checks/changes (28%), unrecognised warning lights (21%) and washer fluid (15%) 

In most cases (40%), drivers blamed the lack of regular use of their vehicle for not addressing issues, along with tighter budgets (32%) and delayed MOT’s (17%).

However, drivers who do not keep up with regular maintenance could risk fines, penalty points and a long-term impact to their insurance premiums.

Salman Haqqi, personal finance expert  warned:  “Between remote working and local travel restrictions, right now many of us are using our vehicles less than ever before.

“With most regular drivers making smaller, more infrequent journeys, it’s easy to see why some might be tempted to put off repairs and maintenance, especially particularly expensive work. However, doing so could have serious consequences to the safety of your journey, and even invalidate your insurance.

“Most insurance policies will require you to keep your car in a roadworthy state, which includes ensuring your tyres and lights meet the minimum legal requirements.

“This means if you were to have an accident and it was found that you didn’t do so, you could risk your insurance being invalidated, leaving you to foot the bill. This is in addition to legal implications which could see you fined and receive penalty points which could impact your ability to get insurance in the future.”

For more information on common car faults, and how car maintenance could impact your premiums, visit the car maintenance guide  

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