Almost half of drivers in the UK still don’t feel comfortable changing a car’s wheel or headlights, according to new research. A survey by price comparison site CompareTheMarket.com found drivers also struggle with other simple tasks such as checking brake fluid levels or changing the windscreen wipers.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the research revealed more than half (53 percent) of more than 2,000 drivers questioned would not feel comfortable changing the air filter on their car. Similarly, 44 percent said they would not be confident in changing the oil in their vehicle.
However, 48 percent said they would not feel confident changing a headlight bulb, and 44 percent said they would lack the confidence to change a wheel. Worryingly, four in every 10 of those quizzed (40 percent) said they would not be comfortable checking the car’s brake fluid level.
Other areas in which drivers lacked confidence included jump-starting a car, with four in 10 (38 percent) saying they would find that challenging. Changing a windscreen wiper would also be an issue for 40 percent of those questioned. These results come in spite of changes to the driving test that are designed to ensure drivers can check tyre pressures or fluid levels.
On the other hand, it seems drivers are more confident with administrative tasks, as 83 percent of respondents said they were confident in their ability to renew insurance, while 82 percent said they could organise an MOT or service. Almost three-quarters (72 percent) of respondents even said they would be comfortable talking to a mechanic.
The tasks drivers feel most comfortable with, however, were refuelling and washing the vehicle, with 84 percent saying they were confident in their ability to carry out those tasks. Slightly concerningly, though, that means 16 percent of drivers aren’t particularly confident they could refill their car’s tank.
“Taking care of your car and keeping it in top working order is not only important for the safety of you and other road users, but also for the longevity of your vehicle,” said CompareTheMarket.com’s Julie Daniels. “While some tasks can be done on your own, it's always a good idea to seek out professional help for more complex tasks that you feel less confident about. Conducting a quick internet search can give you a ballpark figure of how much a service or repair should cost, so you can see whether an estimate you’ve received is reasonable. Discussing the work needed and cost of this prior to the work being done can also help to avoid any hidden surprises on your bill.”