Drivers forking out billions in unexpected repairs as two-thirds were slapped with bills they didn’t see coming

MOTORISTS have forked out a collective £ 10 billion on unexpected repairs in the last 12 months – thanks to failed MOTs, damaged windscreens, and flat or worn tyres.

A study of 2,000 UK drivers has found 68% have been hit with a hefty repair bill in the last year that they didn’t anticipate.

Drivers have had to shell out billions to cover unexpected repair bills


Drivers have had to shell out billions to cover unexpected repair billsCredit: Alamy

Warning lights on the dashboard have led 22% to fork out for pricey fixes, and 15% have had to cough up in the event of a damaged or cracked windscreen.

And 31% of those hit by unexpected repair bills have been caught off guard within the first six months of purchasing their vehicle.

It comes after reports show the number of pothole-related incidents – a common cause of unexpected repairs – are up 10% compared to last year with faults including broken suspension springs, damaged shock absorbers and distorted wheels.

The study, commissioned by all-inclusive car subscriptions provider, Drive Fuze, found the average cost of unexpected repairs amounted to £582 each, with one in 10 paying in excess of £1,500 in a single transaction.

As a result, 59% have dipped into their savings to cover the cost, with 14% borrowing from friends or family, and 12% ending up in debt because of bills they never planned for.

The same number have had to put off other things such as less pressing repairs on their house, and one in 20 have even had to cancel a holiday abroad.

A spokesperson for the brand said: “Our study has shown how many drivers have been caught out by repairs needed to their car because when the time comes, there’s often no option but to find the money somehow.

“Having access to a car is key for so many of us and the way we live our lives – but it can be a burden too.

“All-inclusive car finance options can be a good way to eliminate unexpected bills, outsource the admin and make household budgeting easier.”

The research, conducted via, found that for 38%, unexpected repairs arose out of an MOT – and 29% resulted from routine servicing.

Simple DIY repair could be ruining your car – here’s what to do instead

So it’s understandable that nearly six in 10 of motorists now fear the worst every time their car goes for an MOT or service.

Only half of motorists know how much their car costs them to run each month – a lack of clarity that could explain why two-thirds feel nervous about buying or leasing a new one.

The cost of living is a concern for 43% when looking to change car, with a similar number citing worries about how a change in their financial situation could impact them.

Looking at car finance options, drivers are most likely to understand how personal loans work, followed by hire purchase, personal leasing and personal contract purchase.

Getting a new car is a big commitment

Drive Fuze

One in five say they are familiar with car subscriptions, and a similar number say they don’t understand any of the car finance models on the market.

Drivers’ perceived drawbacks of personal contract purchase and personal contract hire solutions include a high upfront deposit, inflexible contract and having to wait for a car.

The spokesperson for Drive Fuze added: “Getting a new car is a big commitment, and it’s not a decision to take lightly – especially if you’re looking at a contract you’ll be locked into for three or four years, with hefty exit fees should your circumstances change.

“That’s where all-inclusive subscriptions come in – and lots of the other downsides of other finance options don’t apply either.”


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