More than two in five cars have damage owners won’t bother to fix Dvers ignore scuffs and scratches and chipped windscreens 

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  • A survey of 14,500 drivers found that 44% of car owners are driving a damaged motor
  • More than four out of five say it’s either minor scratches and scuffs on the body work
  • One in 10 is driving with a chipped windscreen, despite the risk of breaking the windscreen
  • Find out which areas of the UK have the most damaged motors on the road

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More than 14 million cars are being driven on British roads with some form of damage, a study by AA Insurance claims.

A survey of more than 14,500 vehicle owners found that 44 percent have cars with some form of damage, ranging from minor scratches to more serious damage to tires and brakes.


The age profiles of motorists showed different approaches to fixing motor damage, with only two in five over 65s admitting that their cars had defects, while two-thirds of 18- to 24-year-old motorists said that their vehicles are defective.

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Scratching the surface: AA Insurance estimates that 14.5m of the 32.7m cars on UK roads are suffering some form of damage based on a survey of thousands of drivers.

AA’s motor insurance team says that although the damage may not have occurred during their ownership, in their plight to acquire an affordable motor, many young people buy old and worn out cars.

Across the UK, Londoners are most likely to have damaged cars, with half (52 per cent) of those living in the capital saying this is the case for them.

Of the car owners who had damaged vehicles, eight in 10 (83 percent) said their car had minor scratches and scuffs, while one in 10 had broken windscreen or glass.

One in 20 said their car had more obvious bodywork damage, but an astonishing 3 percent admitted they continued to use their motors, even knowing they had worn out or worn tires went.

Most common types of vehicle damage in the UK

Scratches and scratches are the most common forms of damage to cars

Scratches and scratches are the most common forms of damage to cars

1. Minor damage (ie light scratches and scuffs) – 83%

2. Glass (inc. windscreen and side windows) – 11%

3. Dashboard warning light on – 7%

4. Obvious bodywork damage (ie dents, broken panels) – 5%

=5. Viper – 3%

=5. Tires (wearing, bulging etc.) – 3%

=5. Wing mirrors (missing and damaged) – 3%

= 8. Exterior lighting not working (ie headlights, brakes, reversing) – 2%

= 8. brake shout – 2%

=10. Suspension (ie making noise while driving) – 1%

=10. Steering (meaning the vehicle pulls to one side) – 1%

12. Others – 3%

Source: AA Insurance Survey of 14,759 UK drivers. Statistics based only on feedback from people who said their car had at least one damaged item

Other defects include; Broken wipers, missing dashboard lights and wing mirrors.

The AA warns that even the smallest damage can be more hidden from the eye.

For example, what may look like a small crack or dent in the bumper can hide significant damage to the bumper’s bracket, impact bar, and absorber.

And for those with easy-to-repair chip windscreens, a significant bang from a pothole can turn a small defect into a giant crack that requires replacing the entire glass panel.

Percentage of cars damaged by region

1. London – 52%

2. South West – 48%

3. Southeast – 46%

4. Wales – 44%

5. Eastern – 43%

=6. Scotland – 42%

=6. North West – 42%

= 8. Yorkshire and Humberside – 41%

= 8. West Midlands – 41%

= 8. East Midlands – 41%

1 1 North East – 39%

12. Northern Ireland – 36%

Source: AA Insurance Survey of 14,759 UK Drivers

David Coughlan, managing director of AA Insurance Services, said: ‘Drivers with damaged cars are staying on the “wing[mirror]and pray”, in the hope that the visual damage isn’t something more costly and compromising.

‘Damage to cars can be like an iceberg – while on the surface things look manageable, it is what is hidden beneath that can really cause problems.

‘If the car was involved in a major collision, any damage to the structural integrity of the car could damage its performance.

‘Keeping vehicles in good condition is important for the safety of the owners as well as others.

“We are deeply concerned that drivers are using vehicles with faulty tyres, brakes and steering.

‘We strongly recommend that drivers have their cars checked, at a loss to provide peace of mind and to maintain the safety of their vehicle.’


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