Over 50s becoming reliant on garages

30 July 2012

A study has revealed that modern technology in cars could be costing rather than saving people money as fewer motorists dare attempt at-home repairs.

The survey, by Saga Motor Insurance, indicates that the number of people over 50 trying their hand at basic maintenance on their vehicles has almost halved in the past five years to only 10%.

Modern technology could be to blame - as engines and car electronics get more complex people are increasingly relying on professional help when it comes to basic maintenance.

But a bit of simple maintenance done at home could save you a fortune. "Peering under the bonnet of a car can be daunting. But learning how to do minor repairs could save a lot of money - as long as you know what you are doing. Just changing the windscreen wipers yourself could save around £30," says Roger Ramsden, chief executive of Saga Services.
The Saga study also revealed that 15% of men would attempt simple maintenance tasks, such as changing their car battery, compared to only 2% of the women asked.

One in six women relied on their partners to carry out basic maintenance, perhaps unwisely, as 16% of the men who attempt maintenance themselves end up taking their car to the garage when they fail to fix the problem.

Those in the South East are the most likely to take their car to the garage, and 63% of London residents over 50 said they had never attempted repairs themselves.

Mechanics in the North East and West will be disappointed however, as the over 50s in these regions are the least likely to take their car to a garage and the most likely to attempt repairs themselves.

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