Only a minority of drivers are able to perform the most basic tasks needed to maintain their cars, according to research by Britannia Rescue, and it would also seem that motorists no longer own the basic tools needed to rectify a simple break down.
Nearly two-thirds of drivers questioned didn’t own a car battery charger or tyre pump, with the majority now preferring to call in the experts rather than attempt to change a tyre or battery themselves.
In fact, seven in 10 respondents said they struggled with simple tasks such as checking the oil while four in 10 were unable to change a tyre.
Two in ten didn’t know how to check their tyre tread and one in 10 couldn’t open their car bonnet.
The decline in car know-how seems to be generational with just 22% of male drivers under 24 now able to maintain their cars compared with 38% of men aged 45 to 54.
Hand-in-hand with fading car maintenance knowledge goes car care – according to the research 60% of drivers don’t carry basic items such as water, a spare tyre (23%) or a car jack (29%) in their vehicles.
Worse still, in the past 12 months over one third of motorists questioned had driven their car when it had something wrong with it, ignoring fuel or brake warning lights and bald tyres.
Britannia’s managing director, Peter Horton, comments: “Checking your car’s oil level is one of the most important things you can do to extend the life of your car’s engine – so don’t wait for a warning light or indicator to come on.”
The research was conducted for Britannia by ICM and involved 2,028 respondents.