Motoring DIY credit crunch boost

Automotive DIY is increasing as the credit crunch bites and motorists are increasingly reluctant to splash out on new cars, new figures show.

The publisher of Haynes service manuals and online parts supplier Carparts-direct.co.uk both report a jump in business as drivers shun expensive garages to do more work themselves.

Haynes Publishing managing director John Haynes said: "You don't need to buy a new car to enjoy reliable motoring, as modern cars are generally reliable, especially if they are serviced and maintained regularly. These tasks can be carried out by most motorists."

Meanwhile, in another move to cope with the economic downturn, many caravan owners are lending their caravans to friends or renting them to students for college accommodation.

Other caravan owners are using them as an extra "room", with some turning them into studies and others into children's playrooms, according to a survey by caravan insurance company Towergate Bakers.

Spokesman Paul Havenhand said: "As the economic slowdown gathers pace, we are seeing a booming demand for cheaper UK-based holidays, particularly family breaks in British seaside towns and a revival of caravan and camping holidays."

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