How many Brits know about basic car maintenance?

tyre pressure
Written by Nigel Simpkins

Car maintenance is something that most people would assume has nothing to do with them. Outside of planned maintenance, many people assume that a car should just run perfectly without the need for further care. However, cars should receive regular basic DIY maintenance from owners in between scheduled MOTs and services. This should help to avoid any unnecessary or serious damage to a vehicle just from usual driving routines. So, what are these maintenance checks and how many Brits are aware of how to carry these out? Luxury car dealers, Jardine Motors carried out some research to find out more.

What safety and maintenance checks should drivers perform?

In between annual MOTs and servicing, drivers should be carrying out regular maintenance and safety checks themselves to identify any potential issues with their vehicle. Checking things such as tyre pressures, tyre tread, engine coolant, engine oil and brakes, as well as other elements are essential to keep your car in good working condition to ensure the safety of yourself and other drivers. Even the things that seem less important like windscreen washer fluid and headlights, taillights and indicators are all important to lower the risk of an accident on the roads. But how many Brits know how to do these essential checks?

How much do Brits know?

The research from Jardine Motors discovered that Brits on average, worryingly, don’t know a lot about basic car maintenance. Of all the checks assessed, 51% of drivers said they were unable to identify certain components of a vehicle and would be unable to complete the relevant checks.

The most common failure was checking anti-lock brakes, for which 80% of respondents said they wouldn’t be able to complete the relevant check. Checking the car battery and brake fluid were similar unknowns, with over 60% of drivers not knowing how to complete both tests. Interestingly, 58% of Brits don’t know how to change a flat tyre. The most common piece of knowledge between drivers was how to check tyre pressure, which only 28% of drivers said they didn’t know how to do.

Another interesting finding was that female drivers appear to know more about car safety and maintenance checks than men, with 56% of men saying they wouldn’t be able to carry out tests compared to 47% of women. Age also appears to be a significant factor, with knowledge and understanding increasing with age. 25–34-year-olds were the least knowledgeable about car maintenance checks.

So, it appears that British drivers, particularly youngers ones, have a lot of learning to do when it comes to basic car maintenance. How much do you know about car safety and maintenance?