Are we becoming a nation of motorists who don’t know how to look after our vehicles?

Flat tyre

A recent survey carried out last month, found that more than one third (38 per cent) of middle-aged drivers (aged between 45 and 55) in the UK have no idea how to change a car tyre and would have no confidence in doing so if the need arose.

It’s been suggested that the millennial generation have no idea how to keep their vehicle in good order, relying on the so-called skills of the older generation, who supposedly know more when it comes to looking after a vehicle. However, the new figures tell us is that a considerable number of the millennials’ parents also lack the confidence to change a tyre on their vehicle and the know-how to carry out other simple maintenance checks!

Around 1,500 drivers were surveyed by an automotive company, with the help of Arlington Research, and found that 62 per cent of 18-24 year-olds were clueless when it came to changing a tyre, whilst more than a third had no idea how to check the tyre pressure or the thread depth on their tyres.

The survey also discovered that around a quarter (23 per cent) of middle-aged drivers don’t know how to change the oil in their vehicle, whilst 12 per cent of drivers aged between 45 and 55 had no idea how to change the windscreen washer fluid.

Regional research found that drivers in the South West and in Yorkshire struggled the most when it came to changing a tyre, with nearly half of those questioned owning up to not having a clue how to change one.

Changing the oil was also something drivers in these regions struggled with. In Yorkshire, 40 per cent of those surveyed admitted that they had no idea how to change the oil in their vehicle, while 41 per cent in the South West confessed to the same failing.

According to those who carried out the research, the results show that it’s not simply just the millennial generation struggling to look after their vehicles and, as a society overall, we are relying more and more on the services of experts to help with the upkeep of our cars.

The findings don’t necessarily mean that as a nation we’re becoming lazier, rather the affordability of breakdown and maintenance services, and the advances in technology, are making it much easier for motorists to rely on others when it comes to general vehicle maintenance.

Whilst this makes sense in our busy daily lives, it’s also slightly worrying that, on the whole, most drivers don’t know the basics when it comes to looking after their cars.

More than a quarter (27 per cent) of those questioned admitted to never checking their vehicle’s oil level until they were alerted to it by a warning light or beeping sound, whilst 26 per cent owned up to only refuelling when they were warned to do so on the dashboard.

Drivers of all ages should make the effort to become more knowledgable when it comes to vehicle maintenance, such as being able to check oil and water levels, as well as tyre pressure and tread depth. By simply learning these few vehicle checks yourself, you could avoid a breakdown and help keep yourself safe whilst on the road.