Motorists have forked out millions for unexpected repairs in the last year

SWNS
Motorists have forked out a collective £10billion on unexpected repairs in the last 12 months - thanks to failed MoTs, damaged windscreens, and flat or worn tyres.

A study of 2,000 UK drivers has found 68 per cent have been hit with a hefty repair bill in the last year that they didn’t anticipate.

Warning lights on the dashboard have led 22 per cent to fork out for pricey fixes, and 15 per cent have had to cough up in the event of a damaged or cracked windscreen.

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And 31 per cent of those hit by unexpected repair bills have been caught off guard within the first six months of purchasing their vehicle.

It comes after reports show the number of pothole-related incidents - a common cause of unexpected repairs - are up 10 per cent compared to last year with faults including broken suspension springs, damaged shock absorbers and distorted wheels.

The study, commissioned by all-inclusive car subscriptions provider, Drive Fuze, found the average cost of unexpected repairs amounted to £582 each, with one in 10 paying in excess of £1,500 in a single transaction.

As a result, 59 per cent have dipped into their savings to cover the cost, with 14 per cent borrowing from friends or family, and 12 per cent ending up in debt because of bills they never planned for.

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A big commitment

The same number (12 per cent) have had to put off other things such as less pressing repairs on their house, and one in 20 have even had to cancel a holiday abroad.

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A spokesperson for the brand said: “Our study has shown how many drivers have been caught out by repairs needed to their car, because when the time comes, there’s often no option but to find the money somehow. Having access to a car is key for so many of us and the way we live our lives - but it can be a burden too.

“All-inclusive car finance options can be a good way to eliminate unexpected bills, outsource the admin and make household budgeting easier.”

The research, conducted via OnePoll.com, found that for 38 per cent, unexpected repairs arose out of an MoT - and 29 per cent resulted from routine servicing. So it’s understandable that nearly six in 10 (58 per cent) of motorists now fear the worst every time their car goes for an MoT or service.

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Only half (50 per cent) of motorists know how much their car costs them to run each month - a lack of clarity that could explain why two-thirds (67 per cent) feel nervous about buying or leasing a new one.

The cost of living is a concern for 43 per cent when looking to change car, with a similar number (42 per cent) citing worries about how a change in their financial situation could impact them. Looking at car finance options, drivers are most likely to understand how personal loans work (58 per cent), followed by hire purchase (49 per cent), personal leasing (32 per cent) and personal contract purchase (29 per cent).

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One in five (21 per cent) say they are familiar with car subscriptions, and a similar number (22 per cent) say they don’t understand any of the car finance models on the market.

Drivers’ perceived drawbacks of personal contract purchase and personal contract hire solutions include a high upfront deposit (50 per cent), inflexible contract (42 per cent) and having to wait for a car (23 per cent).

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The spokesperson for Drive Fuze added: “Getting a new car is a big commitment, and it’s not a decision to take lightly - especially if you’re looking at a contract you’ll be locked into for three or four years, with hefty exit fees should your circumstances change. That’s where all-inclusive subscriptions come in - and lots of the other downsides of other finance options don’t apply either."

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