Less Cash Equals More Crash Says Report

Sat 17th Sep 2022

The UK’s cost of living crisis is hitting motorists in all sorts of ways, and now new research has predicted that there may be more crashes on our highways as a consequence.

Halfords has  issued a notice warning that road safety might be jeopardized if financially strapped motorists avoided trading in their old cars for new ones.

The cost of maintaining a car has risen over the last decade, driving the average age of cars on UK roads up from 7.8 years to 8.7 years, according to retailers.

Halfords mechanics said that in the coming months, as inflation soars and energy bills, petrol prices and food costs leave more people feeling squeezed, this could easily pass the 10-year mark.

According to recent data, nearly a quarter of cars on UK roads (8.4m) are over 13 years old, despite the average age of cars taken in for scrap being around 13 years.

A vehicle's brakes failing can be dangerous or even fatal if not repaired and older vehicles are more susceptible to such problems.

The Department for Transport (DfT) reported that more than 1,200 accidents were caused by faulty vehicles in 2020, based on the most recent figures.

“Based on what we’re seeing in our garages and taking into account continuing issues with the supply of new cars, we believe the average ages of cars will pass the nine-year mark very soon and could even creep above 10 years before the cost-of-living crisis eases," Halfords CEO Graham Stapleton said.

"This presents a real challenge for the Secretary of State for Transport.

"Vehicle reliability has improved in recent years but there is no getting away from the fact that older cars are more likely to develop faults, are more costly to maintain, and are more polluting.

"This represents a risk to road safety, yet another squeeze on motorists' wallets, and a threat to the UK's emissions reduction goals."