Unexpected Car Repair Costs are an Unwelcome Shock for UK Motorists

British motorists forked out hundreds of pounds last year repairing whining engines, wonky wheels and patching up scrapes and dents, according to a recent consumer poll from Trust My Garage.

The countrywide independent garage scheme carried out a straw poll of 100 motorists from throughout the UK and found that 64% have had to fork out up to £500 on unexpected car repair bills in 2013. Vehicle exteriors, engines and wheel-related problems came out top for the parts responsible for unexpected car repair costs, with over 40% of the vote combined.

Over a fifth of UK motorists had to pay more than £500 on unexpected car repair bills in 2013, with 22% saying that repairs cost them between £500 and £1,000 last year. And 10% of motorists had to shell out for more than £1,000 on unexpected repair bills.

The poll found that the parts of a vehicle that motorists should be checking themselves such as the windscreen wipers, mirrors and tyres are not causing costly repair bills, with just 4% of the vote combined. However, the more sophisticated parts of a vehicle that should be checked professionally with regular servicing, are leading to expensive repairs when something goes wrong.

The results are summarised in this infographic of car repair costs:

Terry Gibson from Trust My Garage believes that skipping regular servicing could be leading to vehicle malfunctions and incurring expensive bills for motorists. He said: “While it is great to see that many motorists are carrying out basic checks on their vehicles themselves, it is worrying to see how many are still having to contend with unexpected and expensive repair bills. While nothing can absolutely guarantee that a vehicle won’t become damaged or require repairing, regular servicing at a local, trusted independent garage can certainly help. Those drivers using the annual MOT as a replacement for regular servicing are likely to be incurring repair costs because an MOT is not the same as regular servicing and doesn’t check the general mechanical condition of a car, like a service does.”

What these statistics reveal is that motorists need greater protection and contingency plans in place to cope with unexpected car repair costs. Trust My Garage is all set to unveil its own unique car repair budgeting plan this year to shield consumers from unexpected car repair costs.

Terry Gibson explained: “We are almost ready to reveal our unique car repair plan. This will allow motorists to regularly add money to a fund which can be used throughout the year for car repairs, servicing and MOTs at Trust My Garage approved workshops throughout the UK. This will be the only plan of its kind, built specifically for the independent garage trade. Already we have over 3,000 independent garages eligible to sign up the plan but will reveal more later in the year.”