More than four out of 10 drivers will not make a claim on their insurance when they have an accident because they fear losing their no-claims bonus or paying a higher premium.
The research findings have prompted insurance experts to question the value of motor cover if people won't make a claim.
Motor insurance is mandatory, but despite large numbers admitting to having had a crash, only small numbers will submit a claim to their insurer, a survey of 7,500 motorists by the AA shows.
Among the main reasons cited by drivers for not claiming were a desire not to affect their no-claims discount, fear their premiums would skyrocket and a belief the cost of the repairs were too low to make a claim financially viable.
One in five drivers polled indicated that they had had some sort of a collision while they were driving over the past 10 years.
The AA said the trend for people to get lower premiums by accepting an excess meant it was not worthwhile for people to make claims for small accidents.