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What 9 million Aussie drivers have skipped to save money

Car troubles can ruin your day and also cost you big time.

A composite image of Australian money and drivers on a busy road in Sydney.
Aussie drivers have been skipping on repairs as the cost of living soars. (Source: AAP / Getty)

Aussies are struggling to keep up with car maintenance and repairs due to the rising cost of living, new research has found.

A Finder survey of 919 Aussie motorists revealed more than two in five – equivalent to 9 million drivers – had skipped the mechanic to save money.

The research found one in four avoided having their car serviced because they couldn’t afford it, while 8 per cent had let scratches or physical damage go unrepaired.

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Bald tyres (5 per cent) and damaged windscreens (4 per cent) had also been put off due to financial trouble or affordability issues.

In addition to cost-cutting, a staggering 27 per cent of Aussie motorists – equivalent to 5.4 million drivers – said they would be driving less in the next six months.

Finder insurance expert James Martin said the cost of owning a car was taking a toll on many car owners.

“It’s becoming increasingly expensive to own a car, and with the cost of living sky high, something’s got to give,” Martin said.

“From bald tyres to billowing smoke – Aussie roads are crowded with cars that might struggle to pass a roadworthy inspection.”

Martin said, for many Australians, owning a car was one of the biggest expenses in their budgets after housing.

“From registration to insurance to spare parts, it can feel like the car becomes a never ending money pit,” he said.

“But the cost of letting a car become unroadworthy can be far greater than these upfront payments.”

Martin said having roadside assistance was important and could give drivers peace of mind.

“It can help if you’re stranded on the side of the road with nobody in sight and you want to avoid expensive, out-of-pocket towing bills,” Martin said.

“It can also cover you for problems that may be your own fault, like locking yourself out of the car or if you run down your battery.

“If you want to take out a standalone policy, you can do so with a handful of insurers – starting from around $6 a month.”

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