Many motorists are reportedly reducing the cost of their car insurance by opting for policies with a higher excess and forgoing repairs for minor dents and scratches.
According to Swinton`s, the last few weeks have seen claims fall by a quarter, and that over half of drivers polled said it was because they are trying to save money.
Says spokesman Steve Chelton: "Unlike drivers in some European countries, UK motorists traditionally take a lot of pride in their cars.
"But over the past 12 months we've seen a major decline in our nation's motors. They're looking worn, and in some cases quite badly beaten with scratches and dents.
"In these hard financial times, more customers are trying to reduce their premiums by opting for policies with a high excess, which means it is not cost-effective to make claims for minor superficial repairs. Unfortunately, rather than pay for repairs out of their own pocket, people are just ignoring them.
"I'd advise anyone who is considering doing this to be very cautious. Even the smallest of scratches can rust, leading to reduced structural integrity and can become a serious safety issue."
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