Motorists are failing to recognise the dashboard warning symbols designed to let them know that their car isn’t working correctly.
As a consequence, they aren’t taking their cars to a garage to get the fault corrected, and are continuing to drive with a mechanical problem.
Mike Pickard, head of risk and underwriting at esure, said: "Driving a car with a fault – no matter how small it may be, could potentially increase the likelihood of having an accident or breakdown.
"esure urges all drivers to check their dashboard for any warning lights the next time theyre in the car and if unsure about what a specific light means, to check their manual or take their car to the local garage for it to be looked at."
Dave Cotterill, from KC Autos, comments: "In addition to the main safety issue, the cost of repair also increases significantly over time – continuing to drive with a fault is a false economy as it will cost the motorist more when they eventually do come to pay for the repair."
There is one symbol which 98 per cent of motorists could easily identify – the warning light showing the petrol pump, which indicates that the car is running low on fuel.