Hundreds of hard-up motorists are putting themselves at risk by failing to take their cars in for their annual services - because they can't afford the cost, the HiQ fast fit network has claimed.
HiQ has revealed that 36 per cent of drivers opted against paying for a service, relying instead on their cars passing their MOTs in a penny saving measure.
But in doing so, they are often being hit harder in the pocket and leaving themselves in danger, because many vehicles fail with serious faults.
HiQ commercial manager Farrell Dolan said the ongoing economic downturn was playing a big part in motorists' decisions to opt out of taking annual services.
He said: "Due to the recent tough times that our consumers have had in the last year the normal vehicle servicing has been neglected due to the costs involved.
"Relying on the MOT has been how a lot of motorists have been judging their vehicle performance.
"This has meant that we are seeing a lot more vehicles arriving with major faults and minor faults that would have been picked up on a normal service--battery condition and the condition of the terminals are part of the service.
"Above all of this, people are putting their own safety in jeopardy if they are aren't taking their car service, as a fault may arise which is not picked up for weeks or even months, before the MOT is due."
HiQ has now introduced a pair comprehensive service packages which promises to enhance vehicle performance and longevity, at economic prices.
The gold service is a full vehicle inspection including visual checks of lights, wipers and driving controls, and physical checks to the wheels, exhaust, brakes, steering and suspension.
The silver service will cover a visual inspection of the vehicle and will prepare it for the rigours of the season ahead, and will also include oil, filter and antifreeze replacement.
HiQ's Commercial Manager Farrell Dolan added: "We recommend that the gold service should be carried out every 12 months or 12,000 miles, depending which is sooner.
"While we recommend that the silver service should be carried out every 6 months or 6,000 miles."