Young drivers putting brakes on car maintenance

Young driver - IAM RoadSmart

New research claims that more than three-quarters of motorists aged 18-34 have delayed key vehicle checks to save money.

As drivers battle the cost of living crisis, data commissioned by the UK’s leading independent road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart, also shows almost a third (28%) of younger drivers have held off their annual car service and 30% have put off changing their oil.

Key tyre checks have also been put on hold, with 30% of younger drivers surveyed also admitting putting off fixing a puncture, and 28% delaying changing tyres with low tread.

But it’s not just younger drivers who are making tough choices on car upkeep. The data also found that 15% of all drivers, of all ages, said their annual car service is on the backburner thanks to the rise in living costs, with 11% avoiding paying out for necessary tyre changes.

Which of the following repairs/improvements have you put off/delayed making to your car as a result of the cost-of-living crisis?
Total Total (all ages) 18-34
Service 15% 28%
Tyre change, eg replacing a tyre with low tread 11% 28%
Tyre repair, eg fixing a puncture 7% 22%
Oil change 9% 30%
None of these 61% 21%

“This study shows that drivers are already making difficult choices about what they can and cannot afford, which could negatively impact the environment, their safety and the safety of other road users.” said Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart.

“Servicing doesn’t just look good in a log book, it’s there for a reason, and can pick up a range of issues which could present safety risks to drivers, if not spotted.

“It also ensures that your car’s engine is running as efficiently as possible, so ignoring servicing guidelines could cost you more in the long run in repairs or increased fuel consumption.

“Likewise, tyre health has a hugely important role to play in car and road safety. Tyres with low-tread depth have less road grip, and might be illegal, so it is of concern that motorists are sadly having to put off these vital repairs.

“There is no doubt that as living costs rise, motorists are feeling the squeeze, but we urge drivers to consider the safety implications of avoiding vital repairs, especially any which may be a legal requirement and could lead to more expensive costs down the line – or worse, risking their lives or other road users. Key behaviour changes, such as driving more economically to reduce fuel consumption, can be a way to cut costs without cutting safety.”

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Soaring fuel costs have left a hole in the pocket of motorists across the country, but it could be having an unexpected positive impact on UK road safety.

According to latest research commissioned by the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart, it’s thought millions of motorists have changed their driving habits for the better.

Of the 1,004 motorists surveyed, 72% stated that they had changed how they travel due to travel costs. Of this number, 38% said that they now drive more economically as a result of rising fuel costs, while almost one in five (19%) have taken extra care to stick to the speed limit.

In other words, up to 12.5m UK motorists are driving more economically and some six million have adopted slower or smoother driving habits in recent times.

“The rising cost of fuel is yet another added expenditure in this difficult cost of living crisis, and our research demonstrates that many have been forced to rethink their driving habits in an effort to keep their fuel costs to a minimum,” said Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart.

“Driving slower and more economically will no doubt help keep the pain at the pumps down, but another positive impact of this is, of course, road safety. We would urge those who have adopted slower and smoother driving habits to maintain these habits, regardless of fuel prices. This way, motorists will not only save money on fuel and travel greener, but also potentially save lives.”

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Soaring fuel costs have left a hole in the pocket of motorists across the country, but it could be having an unexpected positive impact on UK road safety.

According to latest research commissioned by the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart, it’s thought millions of motorists have changed their driving habits for the better.

Of the 1,004 motorists surveyed, 72% stated that they had changed how they travel due to travel costs. Of this number, 38% said that they now drive more economically as a result of rising fuel costs, while almost one in five (19%) have taken extra care to stick to the speed limit.

In other words, up to 12.5m UK motorists are driving more economically and some six million have adopted slower or smoother driving habits in recent times.

“The rising cost of fuel is yet another added expenditure in this difficult cost of living crisis, and our research demonstrates that many have been forced to rethink their driving habits in an effort to keep their fuel costs to a minimum,” said Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart.

“Driving slower and more economically will no doubt help keep the pain at the pumps down, but another positive impact of this is, of course, road safety. We would urge those who have adopted slower and smoother driving habits to maintain these habits, regardless of fuel prices. This way, motorists will not only save money on fuel and travel greener, but also potentially save lives.”

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Two thirds of drivers think it is socially acceptable to ask passengers to contribute to petrol costs, according to research commissioned by the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart.

As fuel prices surge to an all-time high, 64% of the 1,000 drivers surveyed believe it is OK for designated drivers to ask passengers to stump up money at the pumps.

These findings come as the cost-of-living crisis deepens for households across the country, with average petrol prices rising by 12.6p per litre between February and March – the largest monthly rise since records began in 1990.

Unsurprisingly, young drivers are more likely to ask passengers to help foot fuel bills, with eight in 10 (82%) of drivers between the age 18-24 believing it is more acceptable. This compares to over half (58%) of over 65s, who are the least likely age group to split fuel costs.

“With the soaring cost of fuel, as well as so many other factors contributing to the cost-of-living squeeze, perhaps it comes as little surprise that so many drivers are open to asking passengers to contribute towards their petrol and diesel bills,” said Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart.

Neil also offered a word of advice on how changing driving behaviours can help motorists feeling the financial squeeze: “A few small changes in the way we prepare our vehicles and plan journeys can make a substantial difference to our fuel consumption.

“Gentle acceleration, using the highest safe gear, keeping tyres well maintained and turning off the air-conditioning can all help keep fuel costs down while also improving road safety.

“These simple changes mean you will not only be saving money, but also potentially saving lives.”

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Young Driver - IAM RoadSmart

New research by IAM RoadSmart, the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, gives an insight into why 17 to 24-year-olds have put the brakes on learning to drive.

Of 1,000 young drivers surveyed, cost concerns were number one reason why youngsters have been put off learning to drive.

The price of lessons and the cost of running car were closely followed by the price of taking the driving test itself.

“Our research shows that among young people the cost of learning to drive is a major deterrent to getting that licence which would open up many more job opportunities and increase their personal mobility,” said Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart.

“No doubt, the increase in numbers going into higher education, and the rise of cheap taxi-hailing mobile applications have also fuelled the driving decline.

“Many young people lack the financial confidence to commit to running a car, especially when relatively cheap alternative forms of travel are available.”

Interestingly, the survey also explored which alternatives would make young drivers consider giving up driving a personal car.

Improved public transport was the prevailing sentiment, with 30% of those surveyed stating that free bus travel would make them consider exchanging their keys for a bus pass.

Also, 27% disclosed that cheaper rail fares would persuade them to give up driving their own vehicle, whilst 22% said modern forms of public transport like trams would prompt them to ditch their car.

Which of the following, if any, put you off learning to drive at first?

Costs of the lessons 29%
The cost of running a car once you had passed 29%
The costs of the tests 28%
Fear of driving 26%
Waiting lists on tests 20%
Finding / buying a car for after I had passed 20%
Finding the time 19%
Feeling like you didn’t need a car to get around 14%
Recommendations from family / friends not to drive 11%

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