Young Drivers’ Shocking Lack of Car Knowledge

Survey uncovers amusing answers to car parts questions

According to a poll carried out by Opinium on behalf of CarGurus (an online car shopping site), almost half of young drivers in the UK worry about their lack of technical knowledge when choosing a car. If the results of the survey accurately reflect the situation, it would appear that they have good reason to worry.  Media reports reveal that 1 in 10 young drivers thought that a ‘chassis’ is a type of French liquor, 25% couldn’t identify a car’s automatic transmission and of those, a huge 57% it was somehow related to picking up traffic bulletins on a car radio.

Older drivers also lack car knowledge

Is a lack of car knowledge really the preserve of the younger generation?  Results of the survey of over 2,000 car buyers appear to be mixed. 41% of drivers aged 35-54 and 40% of people aged over 55 spend the most amount of time researching for a new car, but only 45% were able to correctly identify all car parts. Younger drivers themselves claimed to defer to parents’ opinions when choosing a new car.

What should we know about our cars?

In an age where our cars are largely run via electronics and computer systems, how important is it to have any knowledge of what’s under the bonnet?  Can we do anything about it even if we do know the names of all the constituent car parts?

The DVLA in the UK certainly think a basic level of knowledge is important and as such include “Show me, tell me” questions in the driving test regarding the workings of a car engine, safety issues and vehicle checks.

Drivers are ultimately responsible for the roadworthiness of their car.  Yes, many parts of a modern car are sealed and can only be checked by a qualified mechanic, but there are a number of checks that are good practice to carry out to make driving safer. These include oil levels, coolant and tyre pressure.  Tyres in particular may not be indicated by a dashboard light and can result in fines of up to £2,500 if found to be faulty or worn.

It also makes good financial sense to carry out routine checks, as it’s often cheaper to fix a problem if it’s spotted early.

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Released On 17th Oct 2016

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