• 80% of people surveyed in London are concerned about being able to carry out timely repairs to their vehicle – compared to 62% nationally
  • More than three-quarters of drivers in London worry about the cost of having their vehicle serviced – compared to 58% nationally
  • 90% of people in London have chosen to walk or cycle short journeys instead of driving or using public transport to save money – compared to 72% nationally

Four-fifths (80%) of drivers surveyed in London are worried about the cost-of-living crisis preventing them from making timely repairs to their vehicles, new research from Brake, the road safety charity, and AXA UK has found. This is a significant increase when compared to the views of people nationally (62%).

The report – ‘How the cost-of-living crisis affects road safety’ – is released today by Brake and AXA UK, and highlights that people up and down the country are facing tough decisions every day when getting into their vehicles. However, the report also showed that the cost-of-living crisis is hitting people in London particularly hard.

In fact, people in London stated they were more worried and concerned about the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on their ability to cover the cost of repairs (80%), servicing (77%), and MOTs (73%) compared with national averages of 62%, 58% and 47%, respectively.

In addition, two-fifths (41%) of London residents said they had taken their car off the road to avoid paying road tax (compared with 11% overall).

The higher numbers for all options may reflect a greater anxiety about the cost-of-living in London or that people living in London use different means of transport more regularly than those outside the capital, as well as other London-specific driving costs – such as the congestion charge.

Lucy Straker, Campaigns Manager at Brake, said: “It is clear to us that the cost-of-living crisis is having a detrimental effect on the safety of people on our roads. And as the cost-of-living crisis will not be resolved in the short term, it is essential that measures are put in place to protect everyone using the roads.

If [Government] want people to make safe and healthy journeys, then investment in safe pavements, segregated routes and improved cycle lanes must be reinstated.

Lucy Straker, campaigns manager, Brake

Straker continued: “90% of people we surveyed in London said they had been walking, cycling and wheeling more as a way to save money. This increase coincides with the Government cutting the Active Travel budget by 50% this year. If they want people to make safe and healthy journeys, then this investment in safe pavements, segregated routes and improved cycle lanes must be reinstated.

“With many people at risk of compromising their safety, or worried they may have to due to the cost-of-living crisis, more must be done to improve the safety of everyone who travels on UK roads.

“In 2022, Brake called for the UK to adopt the EU General Safety Standards on vehicle and pedestrian safety. Given this new information linked to the cost-of-living crisis, now more than ever is the time for the Government to adopt these standards to protect people on the roads.”

More positively, the report also showed that (nationally) a third of people (34%) would consider using telematics in their vehicles, as a way to save money and over a quarter (27%) said they might use telematics to improve the overall safety of their vehicles.

Tara Foley, Retail CEO at AXA UK&I, said: “The cost-of-living crisis has impacted us all over the last year, and this research shows that when it comes to transport, we are worried about the cost of having our vehicles serviced and needing repairs. Even leading to one in 10 driving at least once in the last year with warning lights on.

“At AXA UK, we aim to provide more choice, flexibility, and value. So, research like this is vital in better understanding the day-to-day challenges we’re facing and the impact. We want to make sure we continue to support our customers, improve road safety, lower emissions, and help to develop an accessible and affordable future of transport.”