Motorists ‘fearful’ of fines forced to drive ‘unsafe’ vehicles amid high garage costs

Motorists ‘fearful’ of fines forced to drive ‘unsafe’ vehicles amid high garage costs

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Hemma Visavadia

By Hemma Visavadia

Published: 30/04/2024

- 11:36

One in four drivers would rather drive in a faulty car than get it fixed

Drivers would rather travel in unsafe vehicles than get their car checked in a garage as fears of getting scammed or overcharged forces motorists to break the law.

A report found that 40million drivers admit to driving in unfit car conditions as they remain fearful of being scammed or having to face up to the high costs of repairs for their vehicle.

The survey revealed that more than one in four drivers would rather drive a car in poor condition than risk being scammed at the garage.

This figure gets even tighter in Wales with one in three drivers avoiding checks and 20mph speed limits which were rolled out across the country.

Driver fixing broken down car

Drivers prefer fixing car faults themselves


Limvirak Chea, president and co-founder of Fixter, which commissioned the research, said: “Drivers are not only worried about the high costs of car maintenance, they often feel like they won’t be treated fairly at the garage and could be at risk of getting ripped off.

“This clear lack of trust between drivers and mechanics can have devastating effects if drivers hesitate or avoid crucial car maintenance.

“Fixter has been developed to help rebuild trust between drivers and mechanics, prevent scamming, and end the stereotype of mechanics always trying to overcharge, by offering a fair, hassle-free and affordable service for all drivers.”

With more Britons avoiding garages, it's meant they are resorting to fixing problems with their cars themselves.

According to a study, 34 per cent of motorists delayed getting MOT advisories fixed last year due to rising living costs, with a further 33 per cent stating that they were unable to afford the repairs.

Arjang Salehi, category lead for vehicle parts and accessories at eBay UK, explained that 45 per cent of motorists dread the prospect of an MOT more than going to the dentist (34 per cent) and this anxiety is caused by “fear of the unknown”.

He remarked that the biggest fears drivers are worried about is that the garage may find an issue with the car that is costly.

The eBay research also found that the most common MOT failure issues were inoperative lamps, reflectors and electrical equipment, followed closely by suspension, brake issues and defective tyres.

Hannah Gordon, eBay UK’s expert mechanic, added that the car is an “essential part” of many people’s lives, so being without it due to an MOT fail plays into the “dread” that many people feel around the annual test.

This then prompts people to try and fix issues themselves, she stated.

Minor faults such as frayed windscreen wipers can be easily replaced, Gordon explained but more costly issues such as electrical equipment and reflectors need looking at by a professional.

If a driver is caught on the road with a faulty car, the police may give them a “vehicle defect rectification notice”.


MOT test

Most common MOT failure issues were inoperative lamps, reflectors and electrical equipment


Drivers will need to get the vehicle fixed and provide proof that it’s been fixed within 14 days from the date of the notice or could be hit with hefty fines.

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