Fear of garages putting drivers’ safety at risk

Fear of garages putting drivers’ safety at risk
Fear of garages putting drivers’ safety at risk

Young motorists are risking their and other road users’ safety because of nerves about visiting a garage.

A fifth of drivers aged 17 to 25 admitted putting off taking their car in for repairs or servicing, according to a study by Co-op Insurance.

Money matters

More the two-fifths (43 per cent) said that their biggest worry was the cost of repairs but 19 per cent also said they were worried about not understanding what the mechanic was saying and 17 per cent said they felt intimidated.

Read more: MOT changes – are you being overcharged for repairs?

More than one in ten admitted relying on their parents to deal with any garage-related matters.


The findings comes in the wake of the new MOT grading system, which is reportedly confusing drivers.

For problems falling under the major and dangerous categories, vehicles will automatically fail but the rules around taking a car to a different garage to be repaired differ and are leading to confusion.

Nearly one in five young drivers said they were worried about not understanding what their mechanic was telling them

Nick Ansley, head of motor insurance at Co-op says: “We’re encouraging young drivers to understand their rights, get to know the MOT rules, and take time to learn some simple steps to feel more equipped when dealing with car mechanics.

“Having a successful experience at the garage with a trustworthy mechanic can be the difference between having a roadworthy car and not – it’s so important for motorists and their safety on the road.”


To help drivers young and old feel confident when dealing with garages the Co-op’s team have put together some simple tips:

  • Make sure you have your MOT before the day it runs out, this means you have options to take it elsewhere if you get a better quote at a different garage
  • Ensure that you check VAT is included on any quotes you are given so there aren’t any surprises when it comes to paying the bill
  • Although major faults result in a vehicle failing its MOT, this categorisation does not mean that you cannot shop around to get the repairs completed. It is within the law to drive your car on the road to another garage, should you need to (and your previous MOT has not expired). Some garages have reportedly been forcing drivers to carry out their repairs on major faults immediately, claiming that it is illegal to drive the car on the road
  • If your car fails with a dangerous fault, you are not able to drive the vehicle on the road. If you do, it will result in a fine up to £2,500 and points on your licence. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t shop around for repairs. If you find a better deal at a different garage, it is possible for the garage to move your car by towing it
  • Don’t ignore warning lights and other indications that something isn’t right. Waiting until your MOT is due to fix these can result in a costly surprise. The best way to ensure the health of your car and its roadworthiness is to address mechanical problems as they arise. This is also a good opportunity to test out different garages and find a trustworthy mechanic before your MOT is due

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