Brits spend just £185 a year on car maintenance

Published 14 June 2021

Drivers in the UK are spending an average of £185 per year on car maintenance such as servicing, MOTs and visits to the garage — according to research by MoneySuperMarket. The price comparison website calculates this to be a combined £4.2 billion spent by the UK’s 22,700,000 car owners every year.

A poll of 2000 UK car owners revealed that drivers in the East Midlands (£211) pay the most for maintenance — £26 more than the national average of £185 per annum — followed by drivers from East Anglia (£209) and the North East (£207). Londoners spend the least (£148).

Only one in ten Brits (11 per cent) feels very confident maintaining their car, with nearly half (45 per cent) reporting they can only do the basics. A fifth (20 per cent) state they are not able to carry out any maintenance by themselves.

Recent research, which comes courtesy of heycar in partnership with, revealed that a fifth (20 per cent) of drivers said they checked their tyres once a week, while another 20 per cent of respondents said they inspected oil levels every three months. Nearly one in 10 (eight per cent) revealed that they never checked the oil level in their car.

Tyre Inflation

The MoneySuperMarket survey shows that nearly half (45 per cent) don’t feel confident changing a tyre, while more than half (54 per cent) lack confidence changing bulbs and over a third (38 per cent) lack confidence changing their windscreen wipers.

When Brits encounter a problem with their car, only 16 per cent said they instinctively think of trying to fix it themselves. Two in five (40 per cent) think they’ll need to pay a mechanic, while one in ten (nine per cent) go online in search of tips and information. A quarter (22 per cent) speak to a parent or partner for advice.

A fifth of drivers delayed their annual car service due to the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, while a further one in 10 plan to skip or delay their car’s next scheduled service.

Kate Devine, car insurance expert at MoneySuperMarket, commented: “Owning a car is a hugely liberating thing but it can be very expensive. We all know about the upfront costs such as the car itself and insurance, but we often forget how much we spend on keeping our cars roadworthy and forecourt clean.”

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Mr Nexus    on 14 June 2021

I've saved thousands doing maintenance myself - replacing radiators, air-con compressor, alternators, batteries, drive shafts, discs and pads, etc, etc. It's not hard for someone willing to learn and put the time in. If in doubt, go online for tips and take your time with the job. The only thing I won't touch are clutches, timing belts, and engine internals as they need special knowledge/tools. As long as you change the oil regularly using decent oil, your car shouldn't have too many problems.

   on 16 June 2021

Agree, the single most important thing you can do for your car engine is use good quality and correct oil and change it when required. After an MOT a few years ago, the dealer gave me a list of urgent jobs, (although they passed on the MOT), one was front pads and discs 'on the verge' and quoted huge prices for parts and also £195 labour. I actually got another 15k miles safely out of them and then did the job myself, (discs/pads are easy), parts around 50% cheaper too!

Ray Orchard    on 17 June 2021

If you drive a low enough milage to only need one service a year, not too difficult with modern service intervals and are lucky not to require any repairs during the year the figure seems reasonable.
This is assuming the figures are correct. However they are low as an average as many cars will require repairs and are more expensive to service especially larger models.
My costs over the last four years have been between £45 and £240 per year plus cost of MOT £45. These have been carried out at a main dealers, due to guarantee obligations.
I realise this won't be the case for many people but indicates these costs can be achieved using correct service intervals.

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