Kwik Fit survey highlights MoT fallacies

Survey results don’t necessarily paint a flattering picture of UK motorists, and the outcome of the latest research from Kwik Fit is no exception. The fast fit network commissioned Consumer Intelligence to survey a group representative of the British motoring public, and it turns out that nine per cent of the 2,002 adults surveyed admitted they weren’t even aware that an MoT certificate is a legal requirement for cars over three years old. An equal number didn’t realise car insurance is compulsory and ten per cent said the same about a valid tax disc.

While some drivers were unaware of which items are legal requirements, other motorists think regulations are stricter than they are in reality. As part of the study, Kwik Fit questioned motorists about the need to service their car annually and found that a fifth incorrectly believed this was a legal obligation. A further 46 per cent mistakenly thought that the law required them to carry a spare tyre in the UK and 18 per cent incorrectly said the same about an emergency warning triangle.

The research also uncovered confusion amongst motorists as to what checks are included in an MoT; around 40 per cent of those surveyed said they expected their car’s oil levels to be checked as part of an MoT and 38 per cent expected their battery condition to be assessed. The same applies to air filters (30 per cent), brake fluid (58 per cent) and even cleanliness (five per cent).

“This widespread confusion amongst motorists is alarming and raises real concerns over driver safety and compliance with the law,” commented Roger Griggs, director of communications at Kwik Fit. “It’s vital that car owners don’t rely entirely on an MoT test for vehicle maintenance, as servicing is a fundamental part of maintaining both the safety and value of a vehicle, even though it isn’t a legal requirement.

“Our advice to motorists is to make sure they get the basics right, which include insurance, MoT, servicing and tax, as these are essential for keeping a vehicle safe and legal,” added Griggs.

Of those questioned in Kwik Fit’s survey, seven per cent – equivalent to 2.6 million motorists – admitted to having driven without a valid MoT certificate in the past and 21 per cent said they have attempted to try and fix vehicle faults and damages themselves to ensure their car would pass its MoT test.

Ignorance surrounding what is or is not mandatory for driving in the UK was most prevalent amongst younger drivers, with 15 per cent of those aged 18 – 24 saying they thought a tax disc was optional and 15 per cent saying the same about insurance. A third (33 per cent) of these young drivers also said they thought an annual service was compulsory.

Kwik Fit carries out more MoT tests in the UK than any other company, with MOTs being provided at 512 of its centres. The company says that March is the second busiest month of the year for MoTs.

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