Cost of living sees rise in car faults LV= warns

  • LV= breakdown provider, Britannia Rescue, sees 78% increase in callouts with no MOT 
  • 35% of MOT failures have at least one dangerous item according to DVSA figures 
  • Motorist keep older cars for longer, with 2014/15/16 models seeing the most callouts

With the significant rise in the cost of living for many across the UK, new data from LV= General Insurance (LV= GI) has found many motorists are avoiding replacing and servicing early signs of wear and tear on their vehicle. 

According to LV=’s breakdown provider, Britannia Rescue, the number of call outs where vehicles didn’t have a MOT has increased by 78%1. The data also correlates with a 2% rise in MOT failures across the UK within the same period according to DVSA2 figures. Furthermore, 35% of these failures had at least one dangerous item. 

Failures for non-working headlights, indicators and reflectors accounted for just over a quarter (25.5%) of all MOT failures, while problems with brakes (17%), tyres (12%) and windscreens (8%) were in the top five reasons for failure. Worryingly, the proportion of tyre failures has increased by 2% in the last three years, demonstrating motorists aren’t replacing them as often as legally required.     

LV=’s network of branded repair garages, which deal with LV= customers’ cars involved in an accident, has seen a sharp rise in a lack of maintenance. The top five issues which motorists aren’t getting fixed are: 

  1. Worn tyres and customers taking the tread down to minimal legal levels
  2. Advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) not calibrated correctly or checked
  3. Warning lights on dashboard being ignored
  4. Chipped or cracked windscreens not being sorted at early stage 
  5. Wearing brake pads 

Drivers are also hanging onto their vehicles for much longer, with callouts by Britannia Rescue attending cars which date back to 2014, 2015 and 2016 the most frequent. ADAS features, including pedestrian detection, blind spot detection, and lane departure warnings, play a significant role in the safety of vehicles. However, motorists are ignoring warnings of faults which could lead to an increase in accidents and risk danger to others on the roads. 

Michael Golding, Network Manager at LV= General Insurance comments, “The data we’re seeing is worrying, as this neglect could easily impact the safety of a vehicle and could put yourself, passengers and others in real danger. In light of the cost of living, spending additional money on a car can be frustrating, but we hope this demonstrates the important safety aspect and why it’s crucial warning signs aren’t ignored. With more cars being rescued without a MOT, this can also have serious consequences and a fine of up to £1,000.”

Tom Hadfield, Commercial Director at the Vella Group Repair Centres added, “When inspecting vehicles, we often see instances where customers haven’t maintained their car. Typical examples might include tyre wear beyond the legal limit, and in some extreme cases we’ve seen exposed cord beneath the tread. It’s common to see chips and cracks in windscreens, which can interfere with automatic radar equipment, and we’ve also seen severely worn or damaged steering components. It’s important customers understand that they might think they’re saving money, but in the long term it’s going to cost a lot more to fix and could compromise the vehicle’s safety.” 

As part of the Government’s recent MOT consultation, LV= has strongly advised that MOT’s remain an annual requirement, to ensure roads are as safe as possible and protect drivers. In addition, extending the MOT timeframe could result in costlier repairs, as problems which would have been identified at the annual MOT could significantly deteriorate and require more work. 
Top tips to keep your vehicle safe and roadworthy:

  • Get a windscreen chip sorted. This can cost around £50, compared to replacing the full windscreen if not looked at which can cost as much £1500 if it’s a heating screen 
  • Get your steering checked if you feel the car pulling to one side – this can cause uneven tyre wear and mean that tyres have to be replaced unnecessarily quickly
  • Get cars serviced regularly in accordance with manufacturer specifications in order to catch any maintenance issues early
  • Get your car inspected by a professional if you hear any unusual sounds (e.g. knocking)
  • Headlights and brake lights not working can lead to a fine and 3 points on your licence, so get these replaced as soon as it happens

Notes to editors 

For further information please contact:
Natasha King, [email protected], 07443 237651

1 Britannia Rescue callout data with no MOT between March 2022 and January 2023  

2 DVSA MOT test results by class of vehicle figures – MOT testing data for Great Britain - GOV.UK (
About Liverpool Victoria General Insurance 
• LV= General Insurance provides car, home, pet, travel, landlord, breakdown and home emergency insurance to around 6.5 million customers in the UK.
• We’re the UK’s third largest personal lines insurer with just over £2 billion in annual premium in income.
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Natasha Gibbs
External Communications Manager
Allianz & LV= General Insurance
07443 237651