Half of today’s young drivers say they feel confident carrying out basic car maintenance, compared to less than a third of their parents’ generation.
Despite the received wisdom being that the younger generation are less practical and know less about mechanical matters than their parents, new research suggests the opposite is actually true.
A poll of drivers across various age groups found that millennials were most confident in tackling basic tasks such as checking engine oil or tyre wear. Half of 17 to 24-year-olds said they could carry out such tasks but only 31 per cent of those aged over 45 felt they would find it easy to repair a simple problem.
A growing use of how-to videos on the internet seems to be driving increased confidence among young motorists, with government data showing searches for ‘how to’ videos relating to car and home maintenance are growing 70 per cent year-on-year. The data shows that 95 per cent of 18-24 year olds claim they use YouTube for research, compared with an average of just 68 per cent of those aged over 35.
The inclusion of tougher “show me, tell me” questions in the driving has also been credited with improving young driver’s basic mechanical know-how.
Tony Hill, operations and compliance manager at Gemini Accident Repair Centres, commented: “Every driver should have a basic level of car maintenance knowledge, such as how to check the engine oil or asses the tyre wear.
“This is primarily important for safety, but it could also help motorists save money by spotting easily fixable repairs early on. It’s encouraging to see younger generations displaying these skills, but we’re keen to help extend this to all generations.”
The poll was carried out by LV= insurance, which is launching a series of how-to videos explaining basic car maintenance.
LV= managing director of car insurance, Selwyn Fernandes, added: “At LV=, we want to help our customers become safer and more confident drivers. With so many people saying they wouldn’t know where to start when it comes to performing maintenance on their car, along with Gemini Accident Repair Centres, we’ve decided to create some simple-to-follow guidance for common car problems. We know from previous research that more and more households have second cars, so understanding how to repair simple car problems can help families save money.”
According to LV=’s figures, British families with more than one car currently spend more than £390 million on “unnecessary” mechanics’ fees addressing problems they could tackle themselves.