Driving cost-cutting measures could be a ‘life or death decision’

Martin Lewis reveals how to get a 'really cheap' MOT test

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A recent study found that one in five drivers have given up their car due to rising prices of household bills and the cost of living crisis. Almost a third of drivers say they are driving less now to keep costs down, with younger drivers being particularly affected.

Shockingly, 19 percent of survey respondents said they had to dip into “rainy day” savings or even take out a loan to cover the day-to-day costs of running their cars.

Two-thirds of all British drivers agreed that the rising cost of living has made owning a car more challenging.

A further 68 percent were worried about being able to afford fuel for essential journeys like commuting to work or the school run.

Kevin Pratt, car insurance expert at Forbes Advisor UK, warned drivers of the potential outcomes they risk by trying to save money.

He said: “The cost of living crisis is affecting millions of people across the UK, and drivers are feeling the impact in the form of higher pump prices and general running costs. 

“Little wonder so many of us are trying to find ways to cut how much we spend by using our cars less often.

“But we should never let the desire to save money impinge on safety. Delaying an essential purchase like new tyres could be a life-or-death decision. 

“The same applies to missing regular services, which can not only keep the vehicle roadworthy but can maximise its operating efficiency, longevity and resale value.”

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A third of drivers said they are actively driving less in a bid to keep motoring costs down, with 13 percent asking employers for more flexible working and a quarter cutting all non-essential commutes.

Some drivers admitted to taking risks to cut costs, with 16 percent skipping essential car maintenance such as replacing worn tyres and forgoing services. 

A further 15 percent said they had entered false information on an insurance quotation, in an attempt to get a lower premium.

This included saying they parked on a drive or had lower annual mileage than was actually true.

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Deliberately misleading an insurer can lead to the policy being invalidated and claims being turned down.

If a motorist does try and do this, it can be much harder for them to get car insurance in the future.

Mr Pratt added: “Entering inaccurate information on an insurance application is also a no-no.

“You might save a few quid, but you could end up without a valid insurance policy if you have to make a claim, and the effects of that could be ruinous.

“Much better to shop around for a cheaper quote as part of a money-saving drive across all your household finances.”

Fuel prices are also having a major impact on drivers, with the rising costs forcing motorists to consider their driving habits.

According to RAC Fuel Watch, average unleaded petrol prices are around 165.75p per litre, with very little fluctuation over the past weeks.

In comparison, diesel is almost 25p more expensive per litre than petrol with average costs hitting 189.27p.

While the prices are not as high as the record prices seen in June and July, many experts are concerned that the prices could steadily rise again.

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