Many young drivers are not maintaining their cars properly due to inflation and cost-of-living pressures, a new survey suggests.
The poll commissioned by the RAC indicated 26% of drivers aged 17-24 have put off necessary repairs to save money while 28% are not having their vehicles serviced as frequently as they should.
Some 6% of respondents in this age group admitted to the illegal step of deliberately avoiding putting their car through its annual MOT, which tests a number of parts such as lights, seatbelts, tyres and brakes to ensure they meet legal standards.
Across all age groups, 38% of drivers said they have reduced spending on their cars, whether that is switching to a cheaper insurer (19%), servicing their vehicles less often (12%) or putting off repairs (11%).
The figure rises to 64% for those aged 17-24.
RAC spokesman Rod Dennis said: “It’s 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.
“This 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.
– The survey of 2,583 UK drivers was carried out for the RAC by research company Online95. The figures were weighted to be nationally representative.