Risks of driving damaged cars

Millions of motorists could be risking their safety and that of other road users by failing to get their vehicle repaired, a new report has claimed.

Research by Halfords Autocentres suggests that 18 per cent of motorists keep getting behind the wheel despite knowing the vehicle needs repairs, citing financial constraints as one of the main reasons.

Younger people are much more likely to risk driving damaged cars with 38 per cent of 25-to 34-year-olds admitting to driving a car in need of repair, compared with just seven per cent of over 55s.

The most commonly ignored issues in the poll of 2,000 motorists included faulty brakes, suspension, steering, exhausts and damaged windscreens.

Some 39 per cent of those quizzed who said their car was damaged said the body work needed repairing. The average time respondents had been driving their cars with damage was ten months with the average quote for the work coming in at more than £1,800.

Halfords Autocentres spokesman Bob Masters said: “There’s no doubt that the rising cost of living is squeezing household budgets, forcing people to make difficult choices on how they spend their money.

“Motorists who avoid repairing safety critical items such as brakes, steering and suspension could be putting themselves and others in danger.”

Worcester’s Mobile Mechanic is disappointed, though not surprised, by the findings in this report. We feel that the current MOT regulations are partly responsible as we regularly have cars that pass the MOT but in our opinion are not safe to drive.

We can no longer fail metal brake pipes if corroded. We failed our first brake pipe for two years about a month ago as in our opinion it was ready to burst. The rest of the pipes were in a terrible state and the van ended up in the scrapyard.

If tyres have 1.6mm of tread they pass the MOT and age cracks are not considered.

With brake pads, if there is no noise when testing you can only advise that the pads are wearing thin. Brake discs have to be absolutely destroyed to fail.

A poorly maintained vehicle is an accident waiting to happen. Come to the experts at Worcester’s Mobile Mechanic.

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