UK cars among best maintained in world

UK motorists are among the best in the world at keeping their cars in good running order, a new report suggests.

According to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), Britain’s drivers fork out just over £20 billion a year on servicing, maintenance and repairs to keep their 30 million cars on the road.

That means the typical UK car has £695 spent on keeping it roadworthy each year, 12% more than the global average.

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It also means, says the SMMT, that UK roads are used by fewer cars that are in need of repair than those in many other countries around the world.

The average age of a UK car, meanwhile, is 7.8 years compared to the European average of 9.4 years, according to the report.

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The report – called The Importance of the Aftermarket to the UK Economy – estimates that Britain’s aftermarket sector helps generate more than £12 billion a year for the country’s economy while supporting around 345,000 jobs around the country. By 2022, it predicts the sector will be worth about £28 billion and support around 400,000 jobs.

That makes it the fourth biggest sector of its kind in the world, the report says.

According to the report, the UK has over 42,500 outlets for car servicing and repairs, 64% – the highest proportion in Europe – of which are independently owned.

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The SMMT’s chief executive, Mike Hawes, says a strong independent sector and “robust competition” have helped cut the cost of owning a car in the UK and given motorists a greater choice when it comes to getting their vehicles serviced and repaired.

The sector, he adds, is one of the most competitive in the world and plays a “critical role” in keeping UK motorists’ cars in a roadworthy condition.

But he says for the sector to maintain its growth, it must ensure it keeps up with emerging vehicle technologies and what the SMMT predicts will be a long-term shift from outright vehicle ownership towards more leasing.

Copyright Press Association 2016. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.