Drivers attempting to fix minor car issues themselves

More than a third of UK motorists have said they would rather fix minor car issues themselves, than pay for a professional to do it. 

A survey, conducted on behalf of eBay UK found that 35% of respondents would look to conduct work on their vehicles at home rather than take it to a garage to be assessed properly. The news comes as many car owners face the prospect of fixing advisory notices, following the busiest MOT month of the year in March.

Saving money is a key reason for drivers taking it upon themselves to fix problems, but some avoid dealing with car issues altogether. According to eBay’s study, 34% of motorists delayed getting MOT advisories fixed last year due to rising living costs, with another 33% stating that they were unable to afford the repairs.

With one-in-10 claiming they do not think advisories are a big deal, it is no wonder that nearly a quarter (22%) admitted to delaying repairs for as long as possible. 

This type of attitude to MOT advisories highlights a need for driver education. This is a role that garages may need to play, as highlighted by IAAF Chief Executive Mark Field on the latest Auto Repair Focus Podcast.

“Do drivers really understand why they are bringing their vehicle in for its MOT, and why it is important?” Field commented. ‘That is probably a task or responsibility for government and us trade associations that we support it, like we do with right to repair or we block exemption. I think that MOT testers need to be supported in that approach because that way it will benefit everybody in terms of our upskilling, but also in terms of what we charge, and charge correctly for an MOT test.”

Common car issues

The eBay UK research also reveals that the most common MOT failure car issues were inoperative lamps, reflectors and electrical equipment (23%), followed closely by suspension (18%), brake issues (14%) and defective tyres (13%), many of which could be easily avoided.

With drivers keen on fixing minor car issues themselves, eBay provides a one-stop online marketplace that makes it easy to find the right part for a specific make and model of vehicle. From replacing blown light bulbs, to frayed windscreen wipers and worn tyres, or topping up screenwash, eBay is on hand to deal with simple fixes. 

“According to eBay research, 45% of motorists dread the prospect of an MOT more than going to the dentist (34%) and this anxiety is caused by fear of the unknown,” commented Arjang Salehi, Category Lead – Vehicle Parts and Accessories eBay UK Ltd. 

“What is the garage going to find in terms of car issues and how much is it going to cost to put it right – those are the biggest fears.” 

MOT likelihoods

The eBay research also highlighted which areas have high MOT failure rates, and the top car issues that see MOTs failed. Many problems are not as straightforward as a simple fix, however, with professional work always recommended.

Top 10 places motorists are most likely to fail their MOT

  1. Kirkcaldy – 37.38%
  2. Llandrindod Wells – 36.37%
  3. Dundee – 36.30%
  4. Truro – 36.13%
  5. Plymouth – 36.02%
  6. Exeter – 35.67% 
  7. Torquay – 35.63%
  8. Salisbury – 34.20%
  9. Bristol – 34.11%
  10. Bath – 34.05%

Top 10 reasons for MOT failure

  1. Lamps, reflectors and electrical equipment – 23%
  2. Suspension – 18%
  3. Brakes – 14%
  4. Tyres – 13%
  5. Visibility – 10%
  6. Body, chassis, structure – 7%
  7. Noise, emissions and leaks – 6%
  8. Steering – 4%
  9. Seat belts and supplementary restraint systems – 2%
  10. Identification of the vehicle – 0.75%  

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