Motorists strapped for cash due to the economic downturn have been warned that scrimping on servicing their car could lead to bigger repair and maintenance bills in the long run.
The significant rises in motoring costs due to rising fuel prices coupled with hikes in food and energy bills are affecting motorists' ability to keep vehicles maintained, the RAC has said.
In a survey one in eight RAC car breakdown patrols (12%) said motorists are now less able to get vehicles serviced and one in ten (10%) have been told that members can not afford basic repairs to their cars.
The problem is exacerbated by motorists failing to carry out basic maintenance themselves.
According to RAC roadside rescue patrols, two thirds of drivers claim they do not have time to keep their cars maintained and six out of ten (62%) said they were scared to look under their bonnet.
Iain Vale, RAC's patrol of the year, said: "When money is tight, it's always tempting to cut back on maintenance, but it's a 0 economy. As a dentist would say, prevention is always better than cure.
"Vehicle manufacturer service schedules are designed to keep cars running both efficiently and safely which is why we're urging motorists to keep their cars regularly serviced - for the sake of their purses as well as their safety."
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