British Cars 'best maintained in the world'

Modern car maintenance

According to a report British drivers spend £695 on average every year maintaining their cars - 12% more than the global average.

The 30 million cars in the UK are some of the best maintained in the world, with motorists spending £21.1 billion a year on services and repairs, so says the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: "The UK's after-market is one of the most competitive in the world and plays a critical role in keeping Britain's 30 million-plus cars roadworthy.

"Robust competition and a strong independent sector have helped reduce the cost of vehicle ownership in the UK and provided greater choice to consumers.

"For this growth to be sustained, however, the sector must stay abreast of evolving vehicle technologies and changing mobility patterns."

Other positive findings revealed that the UK has less cars in a state of disrepair, creating excess pollution, or in need of new parts, compared to other countries. The report also revealed that the after-market sector generates £12.2 billion for the UK and supports 345,000 jobs.

With car sales experiencing a significant growth phase, this number is predicted to increase. Experts suggest that by 2022, the UK aftermarket could be worth £28billion, supporting over 400,000 jobs.

UK motorists are also more internet-savvy and like to go online to compare prices for services and repairs. The UK has the healthiest uptake of online retail for automotive parts, coming in at seven per cent, ahead of countries like Germany, five per cent, and France, four per cent.

The report however does call for investment in skills to ensure the industry keeps apace with increasingly sophisticated vehicle technologies, as well as an awareness of regulation to ensure customer benefit favourably from choice and competitive pricing.

By Tracey McBain