DIY car repairs ‘are risky procedures’

25th January 2013

Many motorists across the UK are squeezing every penny by opting to carry out DIY repairs on their beloved vehicles instead of seeking out professional help.

This is according to a new poll carried out by Post Office Car Insurance, although the organisation underlined that drivers are putting themselves and other road users in serious danger by undertaking such measures.

In the survey of 2,000 British motorists, it was found that close to half of all respondents in their 20s fail to take their vehicle to a car garage for a routine check.

Another worrying statistic was the fact that 14 per cent of those who took part in the research admitted that they allow their car's tyres to wear down to dangerous levels before taking action to get them changed.

This particular figure is in spite of the UK's tyre laws requiring each wheel to display tread depth of a minimum of 1.6mm in a continuous band throughout the central three-quarters of the tread width.

On top of this, Regulation 27 section b of the country's regulations states that, where tyre pressures are concerned, "the tyre is not so inflated as to make it fit for the use to which the motor vehicle or trailer is put". Each tyre should also be free of lumps, tears or bulges,while not exposing any of the product's cords.

Anyone found to be driving on illegal tyres in the UK faces the prospect of having to pay a £2,500 fine and incurring three penalty points on their driver's licence per tyre.

It is not just tyre safety which many British motorists are being ignorant of where vehicle maintenance is concerned in the UK though.

According to the Post Office Car Insurance study, 30 per cent of drivers will turn a blind eye to any dents that their car has incurred, while 12 per cent will aim to save cash by fitting generic car parts not made by their car's manufacturer.

There also appears to be a significant gender split when it comes to actions taken by motorists when they spot a worrying issue on their cherished vehicle, if the research is anything to go by.

For one, men are three times more likely than women to attempt to rectify a problem with their car than seek out professional assistance. Meanwhile, female motorists are prone to asking a friend or family member for help as soon as a defect is found.

Looking into the research, Paul Havenhand, head of travel and insurance at the Post Office, believes that every problem to a vehicle must be checked, monitored and, if need be, repaired.

"Ignoring a small problem which could be easily repaired will not make it disappear, and could result in the cost escalating with time," Mr Havenhand acknowledged.

"Failing to maintain your car could lead to it being deemed unroadworthy. Even more importantly, it could make the car dangerous on the roads and put both the driver and others at risk."

An MOT from ATS Euromaster is a health check on your car to ensure it is safe and road worthy.

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