Research by YouGov on behalf of Alliance & Leicester found that only 33 per cent had savings to cover problems.
Although there are signs that people are saving more researchers found that 45 per cent of respondents could afford no more than £500 to cover an emergency and 16 per cent would have
to fall back immediately on credit cards. Meanwhile, borrowing from friends or relatives is the only option for 5 per cent of people.
Hetal Parmar, Manager for Savings at Alliance & Leicester, said: “The reality of being a homeowner means that at some point you will inevitably have to pay out for repairs such as broken boilers and faulty appliances.
'We would encourage people to start saving sooner rather than later to avoid a basic household emergency becoming a financial headache.
“Compared to our research from 2005, people are beginning to build up their savings pots for repairs around the home, but there is still a long way to go.
“The soaring cost of living will undoubtedly mean incomes are stretched but even by just putting a small amount aside each month you can easily build up a household fall-back fund in no time.”