Motor Insurance

Half of drivers delay vehicle repairs over cost concerns – here’s how to avoid bigger problems

Nearly half of drivers are putting off vehicle repairs despite many concerned their car will break down, a poll suggests.

Repairs are one of the unexpected costs of running a car, with NimbleFins estimating vehicle owners spend about £273 every year fixing their car.

But 49% of drivers are delaying fixing issues due to rising costs, a survey of 2,300 people by Censuswide found.

This is despite 39% of drivers worrying their car will break down due to neglect. The survey found 56% are concerned about being able to afford repairs, while 54% are trying to use their vehicle less to save money.

James Broome, head of current accounts at Nationwide Building Society, which commissioned the survey in February, said: "Keeping on top of car maintenance is a key step to avoiding the nasty surprise of a large one-off expense.

"Also, having a reliable breakdown cover in place will mean that you won't be left stranded."

In its research, NimbleFins found the average cost to run a car in the UK in 2023 is £3,556 a year. This includes £1,435 on fuel and £484 on car insurance.

Erin Yurday, CEO and co-founder of NimbleFins, said: "Repairs are a frustrating part of owning a car. It's a surprise when they come, but it's inevitable they will be needed at some point - our research shows the average car owner will spend £273 on repairs every year. Some people choose to set aside some money every month to avoid a nasty surprise.

"Meanwhile regular servicing and topping up oil, water and tyre air can all help prevent bigger issues."

How to keep car running costs down

  1. Check petrol prices locally with
  2. Compare car insurance and save up to £504.
  3. Use these 10 ways to save money on car insurance.
  4. Regular maintenance and servicing and to prevent and spot problems early.
  5. Accelerate slowly and drive smoothly rather than switching between brake and accelerate frequently, to get more miles per gallon.
  6. Look for free EV charging spots. Zap Map shows all public charging stations in the country and you can filter them by 'free to use'. Ultra-rapid and rapid chargers are the most expensive.

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Helen Barnett

Helen is a journalist, editor and copywriter with 15 years' experience writing across print and digital publications. She previously edited the Daily Express website and has won awards as a reporter. Read more here.


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