British drivers unprepared for summer

With millions of motorists looking forward to summer holidays, research suggests that the one thing they won’t be preparing is their car.

The Motor Ombudsman, responsible for settling disputes between car buyers and sellers, commissioned a survey by YouGov to understand the attitudes of British motorists to pre-vacation car maintenance.

Almost half (49 percent) of those questioned in the survey admitted that they don’t personally make any checks on their car before taking it on holiday. A third of those asked pass on the responsibility to a friend, or ask a mechanic, but a worrying 13 percent choose to do nothing whatsoever.

When asked why they made no effort to get their checked, over two-thirds (68 percent) shrugged and said it was because they could see no reason why they would need to. Some 22 percent were at least honest, admitting that they would not know where to start when it came to evaluating if their car was in order.

The survey found that there was a notable difference between male and female drivers. Women drivers were less likely to make any checks themselves than men. Nearly half of the females asked also stated they were likely to ask a mechanic or a friend to make sure their car was OK before taking it on holiday.

Only a fifth of men were willing to admit they would trust checks to someone else.

Age also played a part in the answers given. Those ‘baby boomers’ aged over 55 were more likely than any other age category to take the time to check their car over before a holiday trip. Perhaps it comes from memories of sunny days spent in a layby at the side of a dual carriageway with the bonnet up on an overheating car.

Those in the Midlands (86 percent) and Wales (89 percent) were the most inclined of all regions to be prepared.

Some 59 percent of those who took part said they felt confident in fitting a spare wheel or using tyre sealant in the event of a puncture. Yet less than one in five said they would be happy about tackling any type of roadside emergency without resorting to outside assistance.

Should the worst happen while on holiday, 45 percent of drivers surveyed answered that they had given no thought to how they would have their car repaired when away from home. At least 23 percent admitted that they would make use of online research to find a garage should disaster strike.