Motoring costs increase puts drivers off servicing their vehicles

As motoring costs increase, a third of drivers say they are either likely, or very likely, to delay or skip having their vehicle serviced in the next 12 months.

The data comes from a new study by, which has investigated how drivers are looking to save money from motoring costs as energy and food prices continue to rise, due to the cost-of-living crisis.

Two thirds of motorists are concerned that their vehicle may require a repair at some point in the near future which they cannot afford to fix, according to the study. With the UK entering a recession, growing financial pressures are putting a strain on many household budgets. 

One in 10 motorists said they had even resorted to attempting to repair their own car themselves in an effort to save money. This can, however, lead to increased costs should the job go wrong and require a larger fix. 

Finding ways to cut motoring costs

The data from found that a fifth of respondents will be looking to use cheaper parts, such as budget tyres or non-genuine parts, as a way to cut motoring costs. Just over two fifths (41%) said they would look for a cheaper garage, while almost a quarter (26%) stated they would move from a franchised dealership to an independent garage to save money.

“Not having your car serviced may seem like an easy way to cut down on motoring costs, but the reality is that more problems are likely to occur in the long term and could cost drivers more money overall,” commented Karen Rotberg, Co-founder of

“When a vehicle has a service, it is inspected for any existing issues that often go undetected by a regular motorist. These problems can deteriorate over time and in some cases result in a costlier repair bill.

“Vehicle servicing is a preventative measure and skimping on servicing could result in significant engine damage and a repair bill that exceeds the value of the vehicle. It could also prove to be dangerous, as safety-critical faults may go unnoticed, and the risk of a breakdown is greater.”

Prices rise across the industry

The automotive industry is not immune to the price rises, with the cost of parts and labour increasing due to rising energy costs and the UK’s CPIH inflation rate, which hit 9.6% in October 2022. Therefore, those making a trip to their local garage will likely be faced with a higher bill than before for servicing.

“We are fully understanding that these are difficult times for drivers,” added Rotberg. “Replacement parts are more expensive, and garage owners are seeing their overheads skyrocket too.”

With so many motorists looking to shop around to find a cheaper garage, comparison sites such as can help visualise a cut in motoring costs, with workshops able to put a rough price on the table in front of customers. Such sites have grown in popularity in recent years, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic when drivers were unable to visit many places and find quotes. With the rise in costs expected to continue, the ability to quote remotely may become more important.

The ability for drivers to understand their vehicles, especially as temperatures drop and the weather changes, is also important, with participating garages on the website also offering a free 17-point Winter Health Check.

Rotberg concluded: “While we emphasise the need for a vehicle service, we are also aware that some drivers may feel they have no choice but to skip having it done. If you are struggling to cover the cost of a service and need to delay it to help spread costs, we would encourage you to instead use our 17-point Winter Health Check, free of charge.”

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