Motorists struggle with basic car care

A study of 1,000 UK motorists has found many motorists don’t know how to perform basic car maintenance tasks.

The survey was commissioned by used car retailer JCT600 for Car Safety Week 2016, and was looking into the maintenance knowledge and habits of motorists.

It found that 63% of motorists didn’t know what the break warning light symbol meant, that 24.7% weren’t sure how to check oil levels, and 45% didn’t know hot check tyre tread depth.

The survey also revealed wide differences in knowledge depending on age and gender.

18-24 year-olds were found to be the least likely age group to know their recommended tyre pressure, with 30% not possessing the knowledge. They are also the least likely group to know exactly how to check their car’s oil. By contrast, those aged 55+ are the most likely to know their recommended tyre pressure and most likely to know how to check their oil.

Comparing based on gender showed that men get their cars serviced more often than women on average, but also that they check their tyre pressure less often. Men are nearly twice as likely to know their recommended tyre pressure compared with women, and were also more likely to know how to check their tyre tread, and how to check their car’s oil level.

Andy Bateman, JCT600’s head of operations said, ‘Discovering that more than 6 in 10 motorists don’t know what their brake warning light means, and that a quarter don’t know how to check their oil level, was a surprise, to say the least.

‘The fact that nearly half don’t know how to check their tyre tread depth was perhaps a little less of a shock, but with access to better information, these are all simple tasks for anyone who owns a car.

‘As we look ahead to the coming year, there’s no better time than now for car-owners to get clued up on car maintenance and safety. I’d encourage drivers to be prepared for winter driving conditions, and to get to know their cars as well as they can, so they can look after them properly.”