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It's no surprise that basic car maintenance knowledge can help your car pass its MOT. However, a study conducted by LV= car insurance reveals that more than one in ten (14%) of car owners would not feel confident carrying out any maintenance tasks on their car. Find out what you should learn in order to help pass your MOT and how car confidence varies across the UK.

To prepare is to pass

Only 49% of car owners would check their signalling before their MOT

Over a third (36.3%) of MOTs in the 2015-2016 financial year were failed initially, according to information made available by the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). The DVSA goes on to say that almost 50% of MOT failures could be avoided by carrying out basic car maintenance.

However, LV='s study (March 2017) reveals that 28% of owners would not carry out any car maintenance to pass their MOT.

The study also reveals that only half of UK drivers would check that their lights (54%) and indicators (49%) work properly before their MOT - yet faulty lighting and signalling was the main cause of MOT failures, at 18.9%, according to DVSA statistics.

Before your MOT, make sure that your lights are working and check that your tyres are in good condition. You should also test the responsiveness of your brakes and make sure that your fluids are topped up. Our car hints and tips guide has car maintenance tips to help you better prepare for your MOT.

Only 35% of car owners would check their brakes before their MOT

Confidence is key

8% of people think parents should teach car maintenance, yet 31% were taught by them

Only 59% of car owners surveyed by LV= would be confident enough to check that their headlights are working, while only slightly more than a third (38%) would be confident changing a tyre.

Most car owners were taught car maintenance by their dads (35%), while 33% of those surveyed were self-taught.

Almost a quarter (24%) of adults said they think driving instructors should be teaching new drivers car maintenance, but only 7% of people polled said their driving instructor taught them.

If you aren't confident on your car maintenance skills, brush on your skills as soon as possible - whether you are teaching yourself or turning to someone else for help.

Leading the way

Although car maintenance confidence in the UK is low, there are regional differences.

Overall, The East Midlands (29%), Yorkshire & the Humber (31%), Wales (30%) and the North East (27%) all score highly when it comes to self-teaching car maintenance skills.

But it's Yorkshire & the Humber leading the way, as car owners from this region are the most likely to have carried out car maintenance, with only two-fifths (20%) never having done any car maintenance on their current car.

The regions most confident in their car maintenance skills: 1 Northern Ireland, 2 East Midlands, 3 Wales, 4 South West, 5 Yorkshire & The Humber
The regions most likely to teach themselves car maintenance: 1 Yorkshire & The Humber, 2 Wales, 3 East Midlands, 4 West Midlands, 5, North East


Overall, it seems that a lack of confidence is preventing UK drivers from carrying out regular car maintenance tasks, which could help them keep their cars in good condition and avoid MOT failures, as well as unnecessary car insurance claims if their car breaks down.

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