A YouGov survey commissioned by The Motor Ombudsman, the automotive dispute resolution provider, has found that 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, slightly more than one in ten people (13%) choose to do nothing at all, whilst 33% pass on the responsibility either to a mechanic (16%) or a personal contact (17%).
The online study of over 1,600 British motorists was carried out to mark today’s launch of The Motor Ombudsman’s “Stay Covered This Summer” marketing campaign. The two-month long initiative has been unveiled to highlight the added “cover” that consumers have when using a Motor Ombudsman-accredited garage for ad hoc or routine maintenance, and to reinforce the importance of keeping a car in good condition, especially when embarking on a long journey.
The poll revealed that female drivers who have taken their car on holiday are less keen than their male counterparts to check that everything is in good working order, and are twice more likely than men to resort to getting help from a garage or an acquaintance (49% versus 20% respectively). Conversely, the over 55s are the most conscientious when it comes to making sure that their car is up to scratch for the journey ahead, with 86% of them having their car checked or taking a look at it themselves. In addition, those living in the Midlands (86%) and in Wales (89%) seem the most eager to ensure that they have ticked all the boxes to help avoid any unexpected stoppages.
When questioned why drivers tend to shy away from looking over their vehicle, or from having someone else checking it in advance of going on their vacation, more than two-thirds (68%) of the respondents who stated that they don’t check their car or get it checked, explained that they didn’t feel that there was any need to give it the once over. Furthermore, nearly a quarter (22%) said that 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 demonstrated that around six out of ten people (59%) are 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 any roadside emergencies without having to call someone out. Furthermore, when it comes to preparing for the unforeseen, nearly half of all drivers (45%) undertake no research on where their local garage is at their holiday destination should something go wrong whilst they are away from home. Around a fifth rely on online research or customer reviews (21%) and recommendations (23%) to choose their preferred repairer.
Bill Fennell, Chief Ombudsman and Managing Director of The Motor Ombudsman, commented: “With cars becoming increasingly complex as technology evolves, it can be daunting for some to peer under the bonnet and to determine whether their vehicle is fit for their holiday. For added peace of mind, it’s always best for a professional to cast their expert eye over the car to give it the full stamp of approval. Equally as 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 all-important confidence that their vehicle is in safe and qualified hands before going away.”