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Breakdown Britain - Motorists Shun Car Safety


More than 13 million* UK drivers don’t know how to carry out any basic safety checks on their cars

Almost four out of ten (39 per cent) motorists do not know how to carry out any basic vehicle safety checks, reveals a survey out today by Quinn-direct, the young drivers insurance specialist.

The research reveals that out of the seven most common warning lights on a car dashboard, a staggering 65 per cent of motorists wouldn’t recognise any of them. This is particularly disappointing given that almost a quarter (22 per cent) admit that they don’t carry their vehicle handbook in the car with them.

Breakdown Britain’s top motoring mishaps include:

• A quarter (23 per cent) of motorists don’t know how to check their car tyre treads
• One in five (20 per cent) wouldn’t recognise the engine warning light if it came on
• Almost one in five (18 per cent) don’t know how to check their tyre pressure
• 16 per cent of motorists don’t know how to check that their engine oil level is correct.

Given the low level of knowledge about warning lights and general car maintenance, it is disappointing that one in five (20 per cent) of UK drivers do not have breakdown cover. Cheap car insurance for young drivers may often contain certain cover so it’s always worth checking your policy first.

Men tend to be more switched on than women when it comes to knowing how to repair their cars – 80 per cent of women said that they have no idea how to carry out any safety checks or basic maintenance on their cars, compared to just 36 per cent of men.

Older is not necessarily wiser - almost a third of over 55s (30 per cent) say that they don’t think that they need breakdown cover, compared to only 16 per cent of 25-34 year-olds.

John McDonagh, Head of Consumer Insurance at Quinn-direct, said: “It is concerning that so many motorists do not know how to carry out basic vehicle safety checks and are unaware what the various vehicle warning lights mean.

“We would recommend to keep your vehicle handbook in your car at all times so you can refer to it should a problem arise and if car maintenance is not your speciality, make sure that you have breakdown cover in case of emergencies.”


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