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- A THIRD OF DRIVERS ADMIT TO SACRIFICING GIFTS TO AFFORD CAR REPAIR COSTS, AND ALMOST HALF HAVE SACRIFICED A HOLIDAY -

Halfords Autocentres today launches Klarna flexible payment options, including interest free, for car servicing and repairs, as new research of 2,000 drivers reveals 76 per cent of drivers have received an unexpected car repair bill, with average costs reaching £584.48.

Car repairs are a not-very-festive reality of winter motoring, and a third (34 per cent) of drivers have had to make sacrifices or scale back their spending to afford car repairs –a figure that rises to 44 per cent of 18 to 24 year olds. Of those that have scaled back, 47 per cent have sacrificed a holiday, and a third (33 per cent) have bought fewer Christmas or birthday gifts for family and friends, while 12 per cent have scaled back wedding plans.

An overwhelming majority of motorists don’t put money aside to cover unexpected car bills – meaning a quarter (22 per cent) of drivers have struggled to pay a repair bill and haven’t had enough savings or disposable income to cover it. This rises to a third (33 per cent) for 18 to 24 year olds. Of those that couldn’t afford the bill, a third (33 per cent) borrowed the cash from a friend or relative, 52 per cent used a credit card and 3 per cent had to sell another possession to cover the cost.

Over 40 per cent admit that they would need to scale back pre-Christmas spending if they received an unexpected car bill now or in the near future.

Almost a third (27 per cent) have put off repairs due to being worried about the cost, and 16 per cent of drivers have broken down because they couldn’t afford to get a known issue fixed. 18 per cent have made an existing problem worse by attempting an unsuccessful DIY repair. Sadly, a quarter (25 per cent) of drivers have had to sell or scrap a car they loved because they couldn’t afford the repairs.

Martin Barber from Halfords Autocentres said, “Getting an unexpected car repair bill is an unwelcome surprise at the best of times, but we were shocked at how many drivers are putting off repairing their car or sacrificing Christmas spending to afford essential repair work. This is why we’ve teamed up with Klarna as the first garage network to offer the scheme, to help make car servicing and repairs more affordable for our customers.” 

Klarna’s range of flexible payment options are available at over 300 Halfords Autocentres across the country. The qualifying spend is £99 or more.