The 2022 RAC Report on Motoring found that more than a third of young drivers are putting off necessary car repairs in an attempt to save money.
The report revealed that 37% of drivers aged 17 to 24 are delaying or foregoing essential car maintenance in the face of the cost of living crisis. Drilling down into the data, we find that 16% from this age group are delaying major repairs, including replacing handbrakes or cracked windscreens. Also, 28% are putting off minor repairs, including fixing oil leaks or replacing brake discs.
Car Repairs Are One Expense You Should Never Forego
The cost of living crisis is affecting us all. We’re all looking for areas where we can save money. But car repairs, even minor ones, are one expense you should never forego. Because when you put off making car repairs, you could be gambling with your life and the lives of others.
Minor problems with your car won’t go away by themselves. If you fail to address them, they’ll only get worse over time. A minor oil leak today could lead to total engine failure a few months from now. And if your brake discs are even slightly worn, your car’s braking distance will increase. So if you don’t replace your brake discs as soon as possible, eventually your brakes could fail you when you need them most.
Delaying Repairs Doesn’t Save Money
Delaying repairs to save money is false economy. As minor issues eventually become major problems, the longer you leave your repairs, the more they’ll ultimately cost you. And if your MOT’s coming up, any outstanding issues will likely make your car fail.
Plus, there are the legal issues. If you’re caught driving with a cracked windscreen, for example, you could face fines and points on your licence.
So no matter how minor they are – and no matter how much they might cost you – you must never put off making car repairs. Doing so could end up costing you much, much more in the long-term. And in the worst-case scenario, putting off repairs could actually cost you your life.
4 Essential Ongoing Car Maintenance Checks
The minimum MOT advisory tyre tread depth is 1.6 mm. Do the 20p test to ensure you have sufficient tyre tread depth. Insert a 20p piece into your tyre treads, and if you can see the outer edge of the coin, it’s time for a replacement. Also look for signs of wear and tear, including splits and bulges, and ensure you have the correct pressure in each tyre depending on how you use your car.
Read our full guide to tyre maintenance.
Windows and Windscreen
Keep your windows clean and free from any caked-on dirty and smears. Don’t forget to clean the inside of your car too. And keep an eye out for cracks and chips. Even the smallest chip can eventually develop into something much more dangerous. Also check your windscreen wiper blades, to ensure they’re still effectively cleaning your windscreen.
Keep tabs on your oil levels, engine coolant, windscreen washer, and brake fluid. Regularly checking your levels will help you stay topped up, and will also help you spot any leaks before they become too serious.
Battery and Lights
Do regular visual checks of your battery to look out for any leaks or corrosion. Regularly check all of your lights, front and back, and not forgetting your registration plate lights. You may have to ask someone to help you with this. They can walk around your car and inspect each light in turn as you activate them.
Get The Car Insurance Cover You Need
Another major benefit of keeping on top of car maintenance is that it will make breakdowns a lot less likely.
But if you ever are involved in a breakdown, the right insurance cover will ensure that you’ll get the help you need as soon as possible.
We offer RAC Breakdown Cover as an optional extra on our car insurance policies. You can get RAC roadside assistance, and optional recovery and onward travel cover. Get in touch for a free quote online.