Complicated controls confuse car-owners

Motorists are being overwhelmed by the clever technological advances in their vehicles. The same features which dealers use to convince buyers that their car is the best option are exactly the ones which have unrecognisable dashboard symbols for 37 per cent of car owners and which make "under the bonnet" such an alien place.

In the event of a car breakdown, almost three quarters of drivers (74 per cent) said that they wouldn’t know how to fix it, with only four per cent of motorists confident about undertaking major repairs and 18 per cent saying they might attempt something fairly basic themselves.

When it comes to engine management or maintenance, 47 per cent of motorists said that they had little or no understanding of how it works, and only five per cent (one in twenty) road users saying that they had an excellent understanding.

Emma Holyer, spokesperson for Britannia Rescue, said: "There is little doubt that innovation has made driving a far more pleasurable experience, but it has made part time weekend mechanics a thing of the past.

"With many cars relying on complex electronics or technology, many problems now require specialist equipment, as well as specialist knowledge, to get the problem fixed. This means it is even more vital that motorists take out breakdown cover, so if something does go wrong with their car they are able to get back on the road as easily and quickly as possible."

A quarter of motorists did not know that ABS stands for anti-lock braking system, and another quarter did not know that MPV stands for "multi-person vehicle". When asked about FWD, 63 per cent of motorists said that it stood for four-wheel drive, whereas it is actually an abbreviation for front-wheel drive.

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