Experts urge Britons not to drive unroadworthy cars, as rising vehicle repair costs could lead to more poorly maintained and dangerous vehicles on the roads.


Car insurance experts at are warning drivers against putting off essential repair jobs and servicing or else risk invalidating their insurance policy.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) reported a 32 per cent jump in repair costs in 2023 which are set to rise again this year, hitting cash-strapped motorists already struggling amid the cost-of-living crisis.*

Garages are being forced to put their prices up in response to increased costs of materials, energy and spare parts, as well as workforce shortages.

Another factor driving up repair costs is that newer vehicles are more expensive to repair and require more specialist expertise.

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This could lead to motorists avoiding repairs to save money and driving vehicles which may not be roadworthy.

Data reveals one in five drivers put off essential repairs like worn brake pads, dangerously worn tyres, broken or missing wipers or cracked windscreens.**

Neglecting repairs and maintenance is highly dangerous and could end up costing drivers more in the long run because the longer a problem is left the more expensive it will likely be to fix.

If a vehicle becomes unsuitable for driving then it could also invalidate the insurance policy, leaving drivers unprotected in case of an accident.

Drivers can also be slapped with a £5,000 fine and up to nine penalty points for dangerous driving and run the risk of disqualification if the vehicle is found to be in a dangerous condition.

Save money by comparing car insurance quotes today has compiled a driver checklist to help keep vehicles roadworthy:

1.Check tyres:

It is important to check for any cuts or wear. It is also good to check if the tyre pressures are appropriate for the load and condition of the roads. The minimum and legal limit for tread depth of the tyres is 1.6mm – drivers can insert a 20p into the tread to double check, the tyre thickness should be more than the first line on the coin.

2.Check brakes:

If the car pulls to one side when applying the brakes then this normally indicates an issue. Look at the handbrake too and ensure it works well, especially on an incline. If you have alloy wheels, it could be possible to do a visual inspection of the brakes without actually removing the wheel.

3.Check lights:

You need to make sure your indicators, hazard lights, headlights, fog lights, reverse lights and brake lights all work. Having any of these not working or in a temperamental condition could put you, passengers and other road users at risk.

4.Check mirrors:

All mirrors must be secure and free of cracks. If they need replacing you can normally find ones for your car model online, but stay clear of self-adhesive types as these are normally not durable.

5.Check windscreen and wipers:

Ensure there is no damage to your windscreen. A chip or crack that exceeds 40mm will actually result in a failed MOT test. On top of the windscreen, the wipers and washers should ensure good visibility at all times.

6.Check fluid levels:

Be sure to top up brake fluid, engine oil and screen wash, checking them on a regular basis and immediately refilling when warning lights show.

Greg Wilson, CEO and car insurance expert at said: “The automotive industry is under major financial strain with the increased costs of materials and energy driving up repair costs – which in turn escalates car insurance premiums.

“It’s a vicious cycle and drivers are suffering the consequences, especially those who need their car for work or school runs.

“This leads to a growing issue where car owners avoid getting repair jobs and servicing done in a bid to save money. It’s also common for people to request the minimal repairs necessary just to pass an MOT.

“Cutting back on car repairs may initially save households some cash, however neglecting vehicle maintenance is very risky and can end up costing much more in the long run.

“Not only does it put all road users’ safety at risk, it also risks invalidating the car insurance policy and leaving drivers vulnerable to a hefty fine and penalty points.

“Even if you’ve passed your MOT, as the owner of the vehicle you still have the responsibility to make sure your car is in a safe condition to drive.

“To help save money on car repair costs, motorists should try and deal with issues as soon as they arise and perform regular vehicle checks to spot potential faults – shopping around where possible for competitive prices on parts and labour.”

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