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Used car industry missing out on work from young drivers as cost-of-living crisis continues to bite

  • Quarter of young drivers put off vehicle repairs to save money – survey
  • The RAC say motorists aged between 17 and 24 ‘are being affected by rising prices’
  • Poll finds that six per cent of youngsters are even unlawfully avoiding MOT tests
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Time 8:10 am, December 1, 2023

A new survey has suggested that used cars are going without necessary repairs as young drivers battle cost of living pressures.

An RAC poll of 2,583 UK motorists found that 26 per cent of drivers aged 17-24 have put off important work to their car in order to save their finances.

Meanwhile, in news that will come as a blow to the used car industry, 28 per cent admitted to not having their vehicles serviced as frequently as they should.


As the cost of living crisis continues to intensify, six per cent of respondents in the age bracket admitted to breaking the law by deliberately avoiding putting their car through its annual MOT.

Overall, 38 per cent of drivers of all ages said they have reduced spending on their cars, with cost cutting measures ranging from switching to a cheaper insurer (19 per cent) to servicing their vehicles less often (12 per cent) and putting off repairs (11 per cent).

Among those aged between 17 and 24, the figure rises to 64 per cent for those aged 17-24.


RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said: ‘It is clear from the findings of our research that inflation and the cost-of-living crisis are causing drivers to cut back on car repairs, which will almost certainly lead to an overall reduction in the roadworthiness of vehicles using the roads.

‘But the sheer extent to which younger drivers are being affected by rising prices is also a major cause for concern.

‘Many will be in older, cheaper vehicles anyway meaning the risks of something going wrong if they don’t look after them properly could be higher than for the general driving population.

‘As a country we can ill afford to have more unroadworthy cars being driven. Last year, an average of five people were killed on our roads every day, a figure that hasn’t reduced significantly in years.

AThis is why the RAC continues to oppose Government proposals to increase the gap between mandatory MOTs for older vehicles from 12 months to two years.”

The Department for Transport is analysing feedback from a consultation carried out earlier this year which sought views on the frequency of MOTs.

Reports emerged in April last year that then-transport secretary Grant Shapps suggested halving the frequency of MOTs from every year to every two years to save people money.

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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