A YouGov survey commissioned by The Motor Ombudsman has found that close to half (49%) of drivers who have ever taken their car on holiday don’t personally check the condition of their vehicle before heading off on their trip.
Of these, 13% said they choose to do nothing at all, while 33% passed on the responsibility either to a mechanic (16%) or personal contact (17%).
The online study of over 1,600 motorists was carried out to mark the launch of The Motor Ombudsman’s “Stay Covered This Summer” campaign, to reinforce the importance of keeping a car in good condition – especially when embarking on a long summer journey.
The poll also revealed that women who have taken their car on holiday are less keen than men to check that everything is in good working order, and are twice as likely to get help from a garage or an acquaintance (49% versus 20% respectively).
Conversely, over-55s were the most conscientious about making sure their car is up to scratch for the journey ahead, with 86% having their car checked or taking a look at it themselves.
When asked why they tend to shy away from looking over their vehicle, or from having someone else checking it, 68% of those who said they don’t check their car or get it checked said they didn’t feel that there was any need to give it the once over. 22% said they wouldn’t know how to evaluate their vehicle’s condition.
When going on holiday, planning ahead for the unknown and doing thorough research is key. The study found that 59% believed they were well versed in using the on-board breakdown kit, such as a jack or sealant, in the event of a flat tyre, but only 18% would have the confidence to tackle a roadside emergency without having to call someone out.
Furthermore, when it comes to preparing for the unforeseen, 45% said they do no research on where their local garage is at their holiday destination. Around a fifth relied on online research or customer reviews (21%) and recommendations (23%) to choose a repairer.
“With cars becoming increasingly complex as technology evolves, it can be daunting for some to peer under the bonnet to determine whether their vehicle is fit for their holiday,” Chief Ombudsman Bill Fennell said. “For added peace of mind, it’s always best for a professional to cast their expert eye over the car. Equally essential is that the garage is signed up to a recognised CTSI-approved Code of Practice for servicing and repair, such as that of The Motor Ombudsman. This gives motorists the all-important confidence that their vehicle is in safe hands before going away.”