A new survey has revealed that maintaining and repairing a car is now more expensive than the average fully comprehensive insurance policy.
Rising Vehicle Excise Duty (road tax), road tolls, congestion charges and the spiralling cost of repairs has made vehicle ownership more expensive than ever but researchers from whocanfixmycar.com have found that it is the first time in the firm's history that servicing, maintenance and repair spend outweighs the average annual fully-comprehensive insurance premium.
The average fully-comp policy came in at £533 in Q4 2013; with average Servicing, Maintenance and Repair spend per vehicle totalling £554, according to the study.
Surprisingly, competition in the insurance markets is actually driving premiums down. According to the AA’s quarterly British Insurance Premium index, the average fully comprehensive price of £533 is down from £663 two years ago.
A crackdown on bogus insurance claims and the popularity of online insurance aggregators or price comparison websites is ensuring customers are getting the best deal possible.
On the other hand, the Servicing, Maintenance and Repair (SMR) market value is actually growing by 2.2% a year, according to whocanfixmycar.com.
Many factors are contributing to this rise. Firstly, customers are holding onto cars longer due to the rising cost of living, therefore vehicles are older and require more expensive and regular maintenance work.
Secondly, a relative lack of garages and skilled workers with the technical ability to repair cars isn’t promoting healthy competition. It’s having the opposite effect.
So how can you avoid these rising repair and maintenance costs? The team at whocanfixmycar.com says: “Ask around! There are plenty of great local garages out there, and friends and family provide an easy starting point for recommendations.”
“Also, don’t discard franchised dealers: many operate fixed-price servicing for cars over a certain age.
“They may be more affordable than you thought, and bring additional benefits, such as manufacturer-trained technicians and OEM parts.”