Cash-strapped motorists cut corners on car expenditure

The recession has forced motorists to hang on to their old cars for longer and drive more economically to reduce their bills, according to a survey by Halfords, the car maintenance and bicycle specialist.

In the past three years, the number of vehicles aged 10 years or more that customers are taking into Halfords Autocentres, the group's car servicing division, has jumped by 36 per cent. For vehicles more than 15 years old, the figure has increased by 22 per cent. In total, 22.4 per cent of cars serviced at Halfords are more than 10 years old.

As well as putting off the major expense of buying a new car, motorists have also changed the way they drive in an attempt to trim costs.

According to Halfords, nine out of 10 owners said they had taken action to reduce motoring bills and 62 per cent were driving more slowly and taking more care.

Garel Rhys, a professor at Cardiff Business School's Centre for Automotive Industry Research, said: "The consumer is showing great adeptness in trying to save money, whilst at the same time using the car as much as before."

Evidence from the commercial vehicle operating industry suggested that driving more efficiently could save motorists between 9 per cent and 16 per cent on fuel costs, Mr Rhys added. Given the current high cost of petrol, this could deliver "big savings" of £10 to £16 per tank-full, he said.

In a more extreme form of penny-pinching, motors are gambling that they can reach their destination, or reach a garage selling cheaper petrol, when their tanks is registering nearly empty. A worrying high 22 per cent admit that they "regularly" keep driving when their fuel gauge is close to empty, which results in nearly 43 cars a day coming to a "juddering halt", often in the fast lane of a motorway.

Indeed, while 80 per cent of those surveyed recognised that proper car servicing improved a vehicle's fuel efficiency, some people said they were cutting back on servicing their car.

Mr Rhys said: "Not servicing your car is a false economy. I've noticed that people are opting for cheaper options." The survey's findings appear to support comments made by Lookers, the automotive retailer and distributor, earlier this month. It said the total market for new cars contracted by 7.1 per cent to 1.03 million vehicles in the six months to 30 June, while the new car retail market fell by 18.1 per cent.

News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
tech
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
PROMOTED VIDEO
Travel
Bruce Chatwin's novel 'On the Black Hill' was set at The Vision Farm
travelOne of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
Sport
footballManchester City 1 Roma 1: Result leaves Premier League champions in danger of not progressing
Arts and Entertainment
Gay and OK: a scene from 'Pride'
filmsUS film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
News
i100
Life and Style
Magic roundabouts: the gyratory system that has excited enthusiasts in Swindon
motoringJust who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
booksWell it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...

Trust Accountant - Kent

NEGOTIABLE: Austen Lloyd: TRUST ACCOUNTANT - KENTIf you are a Chartered Accou...

Graduate Recruitment Consultant - 2013/14 Grads - No Exp Needed

£18000 - £20000 per annum + OTE £30000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...

Law Costs

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - Law Costs Draftsperson - NICHE...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?