What do Brits spend per year on car maintenance?

With society starting to open up, it’s likely that cars will become key parts of more people’s lives once more.

The roadmap to leaving lockdown has been drawn up and one effect will be many of us taking to the wheel once again for school runs and commutes to work.

If your motor has been largely idle for the past year, it might be time to think about a service, or getting repairs made.

But how much is it likely to cost? Let’s take a look at some facts and figures.

The numbers

Routine maintenance and servicing sets the average Brit back £15.96 per month, according to figures from KwikFit. Add in breakdown cover, cleaning and insurance and this adds up to almost £60 – a yearly total of over £700!

According to the survey, the cost of fixing unexpected repairs and breakdowns comes in at an average of £13.26 per month.

While that figure may seem insignificant by comparison, it’s unclear how many reports of not having to pay for repairs were made, which would affect the average.

To get a sharper picture of what kind of costs could be involved, let’s look a little deeper.

Common repairs and costs

According to whocanfixmycar.com these are the five most common repairs drivers face.

  • Clutch (Average cost – £445): If you’re struggling to change gears, it’s likely you’ll need to splash out for clutch repairs.
  • Cambelt (Average cost – £299): You should always find out how old the cambelt is when buying a used car. It’s difficult to know when it needs replacing but the car’s manual should give you a clue. Persist longer than this and it could damage the whole engine.
  • Alternator (Average cost – £288): You should get a warning light on your dash when the electrics need repairing, but also keep an eye out for dimmed headlights.
  • Brakes (Average cost – £252): You should be able to tell if your brakes are starting to wear as the pedal will go further to the floor than previously.
  • Battery (Average cost – £142): Again, a worn battery should prompt a warning light on your dash, but if the car struggles to start, this should be one of your first checks.

These repair bills can look daunting, especially if they come at an unexpected time, there are other costs such as powder coating or re-sprays for dents and scratches. If you’re unable to cover the cost upfront, spreading the cost with a long-term loan can help you keep on top of your budget and may even help you pay for longer-lasting repairs.

DIY car maintenance checks

  1. Engine oil: It only takes a minute, but keeping your oil levels properly topped up is a great way to keep your car running smoothly.
  2. Battery: A worn battery could lead to a breakdown at any time, so keep on top of its health either with a home meter, or by taking it to a garage for checks twice a year once the car has been well used.
  3. Electrics: Check your lights regularly and keep an eye and ear on your engine start-up and you should notice electrical problems before they escalate.
  4. Brakes: Check your brakes are responsive on the driveway or just before setting off on long journeys.
  5. Tyres: Don’t let a blown tyre ruin your journey. Check the tread with a 20p piece and make sure they’re properly inflated.