Next week’s further easing of lockdown restrictions could see millions of possibly unsafe cars on the roads.
That’s the warning today (May 10) from online used car marketplace Heycar, which found that more than one in five (22 per cent) drivers had delayed services because of lockdown.
It said postponing the safety checks — which should be carried out annually — could affect as many as 7.3m vehicles, based on RAC Foundation figures of 32.7m UK motorists.
The poll of 2,558 motorists also revealed that a further 12 per cent of drivers were preparing to delay their vehicle’s next scheduled service, too.
The next stage of restrictions being lifted, due to come into effect on May 17, will let people meet indoors for the first time this year, which Heycar said was likely to lead to a surge in people taking to the roads for reunions with family and friends.
Heycar senior editor Dan Powell said: ‘The latest lifting of lockdown restrictions is eagerly awaited by the entire nation.
‘The prospect of meeting friends and families indoors for the first time this year will see millions of us jumping in our cars to visit our loved ones.
‘But our analysis has highlighted a significant concern – that there could be as many as 7.3m vehicles on the roads that haven’t had a service in over a year.
‘Servicing a vehicle is critical to keeping it running well and reducing the risk of road accidents, and we would urge all drivers to ensure their vehicles are in optimum working order before they hit the roads this summer.’
Dealerships can also play their part in reassuring customers, he added.
‘For those who are planning to buy in the coming months, by being able to provide full service and MOT histories alongside warranties, the nation’s dealerships can offer welcome reassurance to customers that their new purchase can be trusted.’
Of those who delayed their car’s service during the past 12 months, nearly half (46 per cent) cited lack of use as the main reason, while 13 per cent said it was because they’d had to shield.
Motorists were also asked how often they inspected their car’s oil levels and tyre condition, with more than half (56 per cent) saying they did both once a month.
One in five (20 per cent) said they checked their tyres once a week, but 2.5 per cent say they never did it.
Similarly, one in five said they inspected the oil levels every three months, with less than one in 10 (eight per cent) never checking them.