Almost half of motorists have ‘botched’ a car repair or maintenance job, costing them over £800 to fix

overhead view of cars on a motorway
  • Almost half (45%)1 of motorists have ‘botched’ a car repair or maintenance job that then needed professional help to fix
  • Average mistake sets drivers back £803, with those in the North East having to pay the most at £1,050
  • Analysis over the last decade shows a shift in DIY repairs, with the majority (97%) now fixing or maintaining their car, compared to 75% of motorists ten years ago2

Almost half of motorists (45%)1 have botched a car repair or maintenance job - costing £803 on average to fix - despite half (50%) doing so in order to save money, new research reveals.

According to Aviva research, those in the North East say they have paid the most to fix a repair or maintenance gone wrong at £1,050 on average - more than double that of those in Wales who say they have paid the least at £478. The three most common - and costly - mistakes include checking and topping up fluids (22%), replacing the car battery (21%) and replacing a broken interior component such as a door handle or seatbelt (20%).

When looking at the vehicle type, the data reveals that the majority of hybrid and electric vehicle owners have attempted a repair or maintenance job in the last year, at 97% and 96% respectively2. Those with hybrid cars admit to paying £998 to correct a mistake gone wrong, with electric vehicle owners saying they paid the most at £1,279.

When looking more closely at the data, the majority of motorists (97%) now fix or maintain their car themselves, compared to three quarters (75%) 10 years ago, indicating a shift in consumer behaviour when it comes to car ownership.

This shift could be explained by motorists having more access to resources for information, with almost half (47%) feeling confident about fixing their car on their own. In fact, just over half (51%) turn to video-sharing platforms for repair and maintenance tips, followed by websites and blogs (32%) and social media (19%).

Despite making costly mistakes, the majority (80%) of motorists say they are likely to continue doing car repairs or maintenance3.

Hazel Johnson, Director of Motor Claims at Aviva, comments: “Our data shows that the majority of drivers have tried to repair or maintain their car themselves, which could be partly due to the breadth of advice available at their fingertips, as well as the desire to cut costs.

“While motorists are understandably trying to save money, repairing or maintaining your car incorrectly can be a costly mistake to make – especially if you heavily rely on your car. If you’re ever unsure, it’s always best to seek professional help in order to avoid paying potentially hundreds of pounds to correct a DIY repair gone wrong.”


Research conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Aviva with 1,000 respondents who own or have access to a car and have ever attempted car maintenance/repairs on their own (17+) between 28.07.23 - 07.08.23.  

1 Yes, more than once and yes,once combined
2 Statistic found by looking at which motorists had selected ‘N/A – have not done any repairs/maintenance within this time period’ and subtracting this from the overall total of respondents.
3 Statistic found by combining motorists who said ‘definitely’ and ‘probably’.

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Amy Penn

General Insurance

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