Cars in England are looking "worn and beaten" because fewer drivers are making car insurance claims for minor scrapes to their vehicles, a company has said.
In a survey of 1,700 customers, 56% said they would postpone bodywork repairs until their financial situation improved.
In the last few weeks there has been a 23% drop in claims for minor repairs such as dents and scratches compared to the same period last year, Swinton said.
Steve Chelton, insurer development manager for car insurance at the firm, said: "Unlike drivers in some European countries, UK motorists traditionally take a lot of pride in their cars.
"But over the past 12 months we've seen a major decline in our nation's motors. They're looking worn, and in some cases quite badly beaten with scratches and dents."
He said even the smallest of scratches could cause rust and safety issues. "In these hard financial times, more customers are trying to reduce their premiums by opting for policies with a high excess, which means it is not cost-effective to make claims for minor superficial repairs. Unfortunately, rather than pay for repairs out of their own pocket, people are just ignoring them," he said.
© Press Association 2009