A poll of UK drivers, compiled by Auto Trader - the UK’s number one digital motoring marketplace - has revealed that over 1 in 3 (37%) Brits lack the basic knowledge to keep their car in-check, despite nearly 3/5ths (59%) feeling such maintenance is essential.
Consequently, over 1 in 10 (14%) have exaggerated their mechanical know-how, with 35% of those doing so in order to fit in, prevent embarrassment (31%) and impress friends (31%).
This lack of skill has left a high proportion of drivers under-equipped to fix basic problems themselves, with 1 in 4 (24%) baffled Brits admitting to having never changed the engine oil in their car, along with 32% who have never checked their oil filter.
The top reason British motorists have for not maintaining their car is that it is easier to get it done by a professional (37%). Other reasons include, being too time consuming (22%), closely followed by worrying about not maintaining their car to a safe standard (19%).
Of those who claim they are savvy in car upkeep, three in five are self-taught, with a further 28% learning their knowledge from family and 23% picking-up hints and tips from friends.
Jon Quirk, Editor-in-Chief at Auto Trader comments: "A basic level of car maintenance knowledge is essential for all motorists, as it will help to ensure the safety of both drivers and their passengers.
"It’s interesting to see that 55% of those surveyed want to know more about how to maintain their car, especially the younger generation of drivers (74%), so we encourage anyone wanting hints and tips to visit AutoTrader.co.uk where we offer basic guides on things you can do to keep your car in order."
There is a clear generational divide in the reasons for not maintaining cars, with under 35’s concerned about causing damage (30%), unlike over 35’s who admit it is easier to get their car fixed by a professional (43%).
When dealing with a breakdown, nearly half of over-35’s (45%) admit they would call their breakdown service provider. Inquisitive under-35’s, on the other hand, would be keen to get stuck in and try to identify and fix the problem themselves (38%).
Despite nearly half of those surveyed (45%) believing that there is a 'masculine need' to be knowledgeable about car maintenance, 1 in 3 perplexed men possess a limited or non-existent level of car maintenance knowledge. This is to the dismay of 46% of women, who still feel that car know-how is an essential skill for men.
This lack of basic knowledge has resulted in over a third of men (37%) admitting that they exaggerate their mechanical know-how in order to fit in.
A further 1 in 3 put this down to wanting to impress their friends, whilst over a quarter (28%) do not want to feel embarrassed about their lack of auto expertise in social situations.
This exaggeration of the truth is highest amongst the younger generation, with 23% of under 35’s out to impress with their ‘knowledge’ on the topic, compared to just 7% of over 65’s.
*Based on statistics from the Office of National Statistics stating that 29.2 million cars were licensed for use on British roads in September 2013.
Tagged in Motoring