Some 14 million cars are being driven in Britain with some form of damage, a study by AA Insurance claims.
A poll of more than 14,500 vehicle owners found that 44 per cent have cars with some form of damage on them, ranging from minor scuffs, through to more serious damage to tyres and brakes.
Just two in five over 65s admitted to knowing their cars have blemishes while two thirds of hard-up 18-to-24-year-old motorists saying their vehicles are scarred.
Londoners were found to be the most likely to have damaged cars, with half (52 per cent) of those polled who live in the capital saying this is the case for them.
Of the car owners that had damaged vehicles, eight out of 10 (83 per cent) said their car had minor scuffs and scrapes, while one in 10 had cracked or chipped windscreens or glass.
One in 20 said their car had more obvious bodywork damage, but three per cent admitted they continue to use their vehicles despite knowing they have worn or damaged tyres.
Other blemishes included; broken wipers, lights on the dashboard and missing wing mirrors.
David Coughlan, managing director of AA Insurance Services, said: “Drivers with damaged cars are living on a ‘wing (mirror) and a prayer’, in the hope that the visible damage is not camouflaging something more costly and compromising.
“Damage on cars can be like an iceberg – while on the surface things look manageable, it’s what’s lurking underneath that can really cause problems.
“Any detriment to the structural integrity of the car could harm its performance if it were involved in a major collision.
“Keeping vehicles in a good condition is important both for the owners’ protection as well as others.
“We are very worried that drivers are using vehicles with poor tyres, brakes and steering.
“We’d strongly recommend drivers get damage to their cars checked, to provide peace of mind and retain the safety of their vehicle.’