Younger drivers run risk through service skipping

03 January 2013 #SMMT News

New research carried out by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has revealed that many younger drivers are failing to have their car serviced and maintained correctly. Risking vehicle-related financial, safety and efficiency problems, younger motorists are not only failing themselves, but other road users too.

Polling 2,000 motorists on attitudes towards car maintenance, the survey found that 10% of drivers aged 18-24 claim their vehicle isn’t ever serviced. This figure rises among 25-34 year-olds, with 12% of owners failing to have even basic service and repair work carried out. By contrast, the number of over-55s claiming never to service their car is just 2%, as well as around 5% of 35-54 year-olds.

The research highlights the danger to which some motorists are exposing themselves, with tyres and brakes among the many safety-critical items left unchecked. Additionally, the service-skippers risk greater likelihood of a breakdown, reduced efficiency and increased wear and tear; issues a manufacturer main dealer can help motorists avoid.

A modern car has more computing power than the craft that took man to the moon, yet the survey highlights that most young drivers are oblivious to the benefits of upgrades to vehicle software. 57% of 18-24 year-olds were unaware that software upgrades from the manufacturer can help maximise efficiency, not to mention the security, safety and comfort benefits of software upgrades.

“Most drivers are aware of the benefits of regular servicing, but a significant number of drivers are putting themselves at greater risk of an accident, breakdown or costly repair by not taking their cars to a dealership for servicing,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive. “A properly maintained car is not only more fuel-efficient, but will be safer and more reliable. Putting off service and repair work is a false economy with risks and costs outweighing short-term gains.

“To stay safe and keep costs down, motorists should stick to servicing schedules and have repairs carried out promptly at a manufacturer main dealer. There, fully-trained technicians will work with the latest diagnostic equipment and fit manufacturer-approved parts,” added Everitt. “Given the speed with which vehicle systems move on these days, it’s also important that drivers check with their local main dealer to see if software upgrades are available for their model.”

To find out more about the services available from your main dealer, visit the manufacturer’s website.

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