January 29, 2016

To any self-respecting Brit there’s nothing more important than having a car and driving it around from place to place. Life without a car would be like literally being dead or something. It’s just not something you’d even want to contemplate. In fact, Bankstone News would like to apologise right now for even bringing it up. Ugh. Horrible thought. Sorry.

Anyway, what with the economy still being a bit pants and money being, as Simply Mick used to say, unmentionably tight, lots of us are frankly struggling a bit to keep up with all the various costs of running a car in today’s twenty-first century modern Britain.

There’s only so much you can do by way of effecting prudent economies. Once you’ve cut out insurance and road tax and MOTs and so forth, even if you cut back a bit on the booze and fags, you’re still probably going to struggle to pay for all the fuel you’ll need – let alone for repairing or replacing all the bits that keep falling off or going on the fritz or whatever.

All of which probably goes some way towards explaining why 14 million Brits are driving round in kn*ckered motors. That’s according to in-depth research recently carried out by Direct Lie Car Insurance. Damage to body work is pretty much standard, it seems. Just 56% of us bother fixing the crumpled carapaces of our daily rides immediately after taking a hit.

If it’s not stopping you getting to and from work, getting the kids to and from school, and/or popping down the pub/out for fags/etc. etc, it’s hardly a priority. With all the filthy water and dirt flying up off the roads at this time of year, superficial damage is quickly obscured by highway grime in any case. Cleanliness is the thrifty driver’s enemy. Aesthetically speaking.

And then – unless you want to be super-precious about taking the odd risk – things like cracked or chipped windscreens (27%), faulty lights (18%) and bald tyres (10%) can always wait til you’re next feeling flush. Most drivers are happy to wait at least 43 days before getting things fixed, Direct Lime report, and who can blame them!

Got warning lights showing on your dashboard display (13%)? A bit of strategically positioned gaffer tape, a plaster, or even a nice big wodge of gum will soon resolve that annoyance. Brakes making a funning grinding sound (9%)? Brake sooner, brake for longer, try jamming your foot down REALLY hard (only, don’t put your foot literally through the floor, or there’ll be even more filthy road juice spraying up into the footwell).

Direct Lie motor bloke Augustus Park explains that “Drivers are so reliant on their cars, they are even driving them when damaged, risking a hefty fine and potentially putting their lives in danger. We urge motorists to get their cars fixed as soon as possible.”

Nice thought, Gus. You offering to pay? Time waster!

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