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Report finds 68 per cent of motorists are haunted by nightmares of their used car breaking down as auto repair costs rise

posted on 31/10/2023
Report finds 68 per cent of motorists are haunted by nightmares of their used car breaking down as auto repair costs rise

Car repairs and ghastly costs are causing many UK motorists sleepless nights as used car* maintenance costs hit an unnerving all-time high this Halloween season. Research by Warrantywise in conjunction with YouGov** finds that 68 per cent of drivers who expressed concerns about their car cited that they’re most concerned about it going wrong and breaking down more often. Despite this, the poll of over 2,000 used car owners revealed that 78 per cent – nearly eight in ten people – frighteningly don’t protect their car with an extended, used car-specific warranty.

As the nights draw in and many UK households are feeling the pinch amidst a challenging economic climate, the used car industry has been forced to follow suit and increase its prices with parts (up a hair-raising 9.3 per cent on average from 2022) and labour rates (up a fearsome 4.2 per cent on average from 2022***), with some garages reporting prices at an all-time high. This is causing major concern for UK motorists according to Warrantywise’s research, with 68 per cent of used car owners who expressed concerns citing the fear of their vehicles breaking down as their main worry. 

Alongside the increase in car parts and labour, the price of fuel and the basics – food, utilities and mortgage costs and/or rent – still continue to creep. Recent news from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said prices will rise faster in the UK than in any other advanced economy this year****, coinciding with the British consumer price inflation (CPI) unexpectedly holding at 6.7 per cent in September*****, mean the UK has the highest inflation in the G7 – a worrying statistic for drivers. 

Rising interest rates and inflation mean that the cost of purchasing a used car is still at a premium. Protecting that investment should be a crucial step, and one such way is through an aftermarket warranty package. However, recent research shows that a chilling 78 per cent of people are still driving unprotected against potential large bills, as they don’t have an extended aftermarket warranty on their used vehicle.

Validated by recent reports by used car buying platform, Auto Trader, the average used car is currently priced at a petrifying £17,736******, according to the firm’s Retail Price Index. These prices are 36 per cent above the same period in 2021, and 45 per cent above pre-pandemic levels in September 2019. This wickedly steep escalation in upfront costs for purchasing a used car highlights the fact that it’s becoming increasingly vital to consider investing in a warranty that can offer much-needed protection and financial security.

“Supply chain disruptions and global economic challenges have led to an increase in parts costs, hugely affecting the automotive industry at large. Used car owners are not immune to these higher prices, as sourcing and replacing components for ageing vehicles can be dearer than expected,” said Lawrence Whittaker, CEO of Warrantywise. “In the current economic climate, especially with the OECD’s worrying forecast that the UK’s inflation average will be the highest rate in the G7 group for 2023, extended warranties play a vital role in offering financial security and peace of mind to used car owners. Following the release of this data, we are more dedicated than ever to helping used car owners protect their purchases and navigate the challenges of the current economic landscape. 

“With the recent news further suggesting that used car prices in the UK are continuing to rise, and that the demand for older vehicles keeps the price high for both buyers and sellers, it’s the perfect storm for those looking to buy a car amidst the cost-of-living crisis, and the need to protect themselves now is greater than ever. By securing an extended warranty, used car owners can safeguard themselves from unexpected financial burdens, ensuring that their vehicles remain in optimal condition without causing a strain on their wallets.”

As a response to the YouGov poll's findings, Warrantywise is reaffirming its commitment to educating and empowering used car owners in the UK about the benefits of extended warranty coverage. The company offers a range of comprehensive and budget-friendly extended warranty plans designed to cater to various needs and budgets. Further committing to a transparent claim process and exceptional customer-first service, Warrantywise’s new expert arbiter, TV personality, presenter and master mechanic, Edd China, will provide impartial assessment to any customer concern. He has an emphasis on fairness and prioritising customer satisfaction, as well as providing invaluable input to the contents of its leading extending warranty plans.

Expert arbiter at Warrantywise, Edd China, added: “Working with Warrantywise my goal is to educate and ensure that those who already have a second-hand vehicle or are looking to buy a car from the used car market have the peace of mind they are doing so with protection against unexpected repair costs.”

With over one million plans sold since its inception in 2000, Warrantywise is a leading aftermarket warranty provider in the UK. Today, Warrantywise is known as the go-to provider for used car warranties to the trade and direct to consumer. The company offers automotive warranty packages and is consistently rated highly for its industry-leading customer service, as seen on its Excellent Trustpilot rating. 

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