HiQ survey suggests some young drivers swerve services
HiQ says that the results of its latest car maintenance habits survey suggest that young motorists are putting themselves at risk by failing to take their cars in for annual services. The fast fit network cites not being able to afford the cost or ignorance of the concept of an annual service as the main reasons for this trend. 34 per cent of 500 drivers questioned opted against paying for a service, relying instead on their cars passing their MOTs in a penny saving measure. 57 per cent of those deciding against a service were drivers aged between 17 and 30, suggesting that the trend is rife amongst younger motorists.
The results arrive on the back of a similar claim by AA patrolman of the year Keith Miller, who said that car servicing is an alien concept to drivers of a certain age: “I think it’s a generational thing. Younger people are used to having obsolescence built into things. They use something until it breaks and then throw it away and buy a newer, better version. Servicing something is alien to them.”
HiQ’s fast fit manager Stuart Carr agreed with Miller, while also pointing to the ongoing economic downturn as a reason for skipping services: “We don’t think that younger drivers necessarily appreciate the pitfalls of breaking down and the costs associated with this, and therefore don’t place as high a priority on regular car services. We are seeing a lot more vehicles arriving with major faults and minor faults that would have been picked up on a normal service.”
Carr also said that there was still a common conception that passing an MOT test guaranteed road worthiness, which was not necessarily the case. “It is true that the normal vehicle service has been neglected due to the costs involved. Relying on the MOT has been how a lot of motorists have been judging their vehicle performance.
“A test certificate relates only to the condition of the components examined at the time of test. It does not confirm the vehicle will remain roadworthy for the validity of the certificate. You can pass an MOT and be charged for a road traffic offence as soon as you leave the test station, the reason being that the MOT and Road Traffic Act cover different elements.”
HiQ offers two major levels of comprehensive service packages. The gold service is a full vehicle inspection including visual checks of lights, wipers and driving controls, and physical checks to the wheels, exhaust, brakes, steering and suspension. The silver service will cover a visual inspection of the vehicle and will prepare it for the rigours of the season ahead, and will also include oil and filter replacement.
Carr added: “We recommend that the gold service should be carried out every 12 months or 12,000 miles, depending which is sooner. While we recommend that the silver service should be carried out every 6 months or 6,000 miles.”