New research shows that economic worries have led to an additional 1.6 million motorists servicing their own cars over the past year.* Drivers say cars of 10 years ago were six-times simpler to service than modern cars. Over a third (35%) of car owners now say they carry out a service themselves, but the company warns that being a DIY mechanic could leave motorists at risk. 69% of motorists confessed that they don’t feel confident in servicing their own car, which means a worrying 1.25 million cars could have suffered from a home bodge job.
Kwik-Fit’s latest report also shows that there has been a rise in cars going completely unserviced. A shocking 2.5 million fewer cars were serviced at a garage in the past year which, according to the research was mostly as a result of motorists wanting to save money. The study shows that as cars have become increasingly sophisticated over the past ten years and more reliant on computerised engine management systems, the confidence of motorists to ‘self-service’ has fallen dramatically. For example, motorists driving cars that are over 11 years old are six times more likely to think they can do a service compared to those with cars under two years old.
Car registration plate series Percentage of adults who think their car is simple enough to self-service (%)
‘57’ (2007) to ‘10’ (2010) 6%
‘54’ (2004) to ‘07’ (2007) 8%
‘51’ (2001) to ‘04’ (2004) 7%
‘V’ (1999) to ‘Y’ (2001) 18%
‘T’ (1999) or older 37%
David White, customer services director at Kwik-Fit, says; “Modern cars are increasingly reliant on computer technology so there are fewer tasks under the bonnet suitable for an amateur enthusiast as they won’t have the necessary equipment. “Car owners shouldn’t rely on the MoT to pick up faults as this mainly focuses on safety factors.
A proper service will highlight issues which could cause a future breakdown and also cover areas too complicated for most DIY mechanics, such as timing belt replacement. “While the tough economic climate has led to motorists wanting to cut costs, skipping a service can lead to greater expense if things go wrong. Kwik-Fit offers a range of cost effective service options, such as combined MoT and service from £99. “A car’s performance can be compromised if it is left too long between services and there’s a financial benefit to regular servicing too; a documented service history can add to a car’s resale value.”
* Research amongst over 2000 UK adults carried out for Kwik-Fit by ICM.
© Copyright of Newspress Ltd (this is an edited version).
4th May 2010
This is a home truth that needs to be tempered by manufacturers if cars are to become sustainable. No wonder Editor drives a 1992 Audi!