Young Drivers Too Chilled To Get Cars Checked

Young drivers are more than twice as likely as their elders to avoid getting a dangerous problem with their car inspected urgently.

Apathetic commissioned a survey to find out how apathetic drivers are when it comes to knowing about, but ignoring, problems with their cars. In total, 1,006 drivers of all ages were asked how long they would wait to visit a garage for various problems with their car, such as warning lights, noises and leaks.


The research found 80% of drivers aged over 65 would take their car to a garage within 24 hours of its brake dashboard warning light coming on, compared with just a third (33%) of 18-24 year olds. Even half of those aged 25-34 would visit a garage within a day, whereas the youngest drivers are more likely to wait up to a week to get their car’s brakes checked if the warning light showed. Young drivers also said that they would react similarly to other warning signs, such as their car’s loss of oil pressure – critical to the safety of an engine. Some 79% of over-65s would visit the garage within 24 hours, compared with just 31% of 18-24s.


The poll also asked about the longest time that drivers have actually waited to visit garages for real problems. It revealed big differences between drivers’ intentions and the amount of time they left in real situations. For almost every hypothetical scenario, the majority of drivers said they would go to a mechanic within 24 hours. However, when asked what was the longest time they have ever left a problem with their car before visiting a garage, more people admitted they’ve waited between a fortnight and a month (15%) than 24 hours (10%). The research also revealed that twice as many men than women have waited over a year before taking their car to the garage (4% vs 2%).

Worrying Habits

Dominic Clark, of, commented: “This highlights the really worrying habits that some people have when it comes to car maintenance. For young drivers, especially to not see the urgency of getting potentially serious issues, such as brake problems, inspected is very dangerous. They are obviously creating a huge risk for other road users, as well as themselves.”

He added: “On most cars, dashboard warning lights are colour coded. So seeing a red light indicates an urgently serious potential problem. Many cars these days also have a warning light to show when tyre pressures fall below a certain level, which is often ignored. Things like this are now easier than ever to sort out, as we can be called out with no need to visit a garage.”

Car Issues Ignored

The car problems that UK drivers most commonly ignore for longer than two weeks are:

  1. Service intervals (39%)
  2. Noisy or worn wipers (26%)
  3. Jamming seatbelt (20%)
  4. Noisy brakes (15%)
  5. Knocking suspension (15%)