Following a slow start to 2013 in terms of new car sales compared to 2012, the AA suggest that as many as 79% of drivers in Ireland are planning to hold onto their current vehicle for as long as possible.
This statistic was generated from an AA online poll of over 9,600 people carried out during January as part of their ongoing campaign to emphasize to their members the importance of car maintenance, particularly among those now driving older vehicles.
The AA also reports that it saw a slight increase during 2012 of breakdowns relating to steering, suspension and brake issues, problems commonly associated with wear and tear.
According to the 2011 Irish Bulletin of Vehicle and Driver Statistics, 79% of private cars in Ireland were four years and older while 60% were six years and older. These figures compares to 71% and 53% respectively in 2009.
Just over a quarter of those polled, 28%, shared that they have some sort of fund set aside for when they next go to purchase a new or second hand car. According to the poll, vehicle running costs, which have increased significantly in recent years, are a major barrier for many when it comes to putting something aside for their next car purchase.
Just short of 60% of those polled said that they have struggled to find the money to pay for one or more of the following over the last year - their fuel, car tax, NCT test or motor insurance. The AA further shares that one of its poll respondents took a week off work last year so that they could offset the petrol costs against their motor tax bill.
Pay tax every three months
Several others indicated that they were forced to pay their car tax at three month intervals as they simply could not manage to pay it in one lump sum.
While others said that things became so tight for them last year that they’d had to leave their car off the road for weeks or even months until they could afford the necessary repairs or meet their motor tax obligation.
“Motorists have been squeezed and squeezed and clearly the money they’re putting into running their cars has to come from elsewhere,” said Conor Faughnan, Director of AA Consumer Affairs. “From what we’re hearing from the front line we’re going to be seeing more and more older vehicles on our roads and drivers need to be really conscious of wear and tear.”
AA Patrols who attend in the region of 140,000 breakdowns per year advise motorists to resist the temptation to stretch out the interval between car services.