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Average Brit spends £695 a year on car maintenance

UK motorists pay an average of 695 pounds and 31 pence every year to keep their cars healthy, it has been revealed.

That’s according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), which says Brits spend £21.1 billion a year on services and repairs on the 30 million-plus cars in the UK – a figure 12 per cent higher than the global average.

The same report found Britain has fewer cars in a state of disrepair and are in less in need of new parts such as brakes compared with other countries.

There are more than 42,500 repair and service garages across the UK, which support more than 345,000 jobs and contributes £12.2 billion to the economy. By 2022, this figure is projected to reach £28 billion and employ around 400,000 people.

Automotive aftercare in the UK is, in fact, the eighth largest in the world, beating Brazil and India, which is impressive when you consider the population differences, although the number of cars per person figure is likely to be in favour of a more developed country.

The UK is also home to motorists who use the internet to compare prices for services and repairs, with a seven per cent penetration for automotive parts online retail. That puts it ahead of Germany (5 per cent) and France (four per cent).

“The UK’s aftermarket is one of the most competitive in the world and plays a critical role in keeping Britain’s 30 million-plus cars roadworthy,” SMMT chief executive Mike Hawes explained.

He added: “Robust competition and a strong independent sector have helped reduce the cost of vehicle ownership in the UK and provide greater choice to consumers.

“For this growth to be sustained, however, the sector must stay abreast of evolving vehicle technologies and changing mobility patterns.”

Regular maintenance, MOTs, repair requirements and parts distribution are said to be key services, while the most common aftermarket parts Brits snap up include tyres, brakes and batteries.

While we could pat ourselves on the back for thoroughly maintaining cars, it is more likely a result of MOT-based legal requirements and the blight of rip-off garages than fears over safety. Brits finding even the most basic repairs confusing could also be a factor.

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