Press release


Monday 30 July 2012

• The number of people carrying out basic car maintenance has almost halved over the last five years
• Only one in ten over 50s would attempt basic repairs to their car
• Over 50s in the South East, London and Scotland are the least likely to attempt car maintenance

Research reveals that technology in modern cars could be costing people money, which could be bad news for the one in twelve (8%) Saga customers who are planning to buy a brand new car this year. A recent Saga Motor Insurance study shows that the number of people carrying out basic car maintenance, such as changing the battery, has almost halved over the last five years (17%** compared to 10%*); instead they are paying garages to carry out these basic tasks.

As cars have become more complex, the over 50s have become less confident with car maintenance. People who own a car that is more than ten years old are almost twice as likely to attempt to repair their car themselves than someone who owns a car that is under a year old (15% vs 8%).

Only 2% of women are likely to lift the bonnet and make repairs to their car compared with 15% of men. However, this could be a wise move as one in six (16%) men take their car to a garage after failing to make basic repairs themselves.

Gone are the days when people turned to family members or friends for help when they had car troubles, as only 3% of over 50s would ask their friend for help compared to 7% five years ago. And while one in six (16%) women are happy to rely on their spouse for help with basic repairs, incredibly no men over 50 even considered asking their partner or spouse for help.

This research is good news for mechanics especially in the South East, London and Scotland as the over 50s living in these areas are the least likely to make basic repairs themselves.

Roger Ramsden, Chief Executive, Saga Services commented: “Peering under the bonnet of a car can be daunting. But learning how to do minor repairs could save a lot of money – as long as you know what you’re doing. Just changing the windscreen wipers yourself could save around £30.”


Notes for Editors

• *Populus interviewed 9,229 Saga customers, all aged 50 and over, online between 22nd and 28th June 2012.  Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.
• **Research carried out on behalf of Saga by YouGov amongst 886 over 50s between 20th-23rd April 2007

   June 2012 April 2007 

 If your car needed basic repairs you would most
likely attempt the repairs yourself

10%  17% 
If your car needed basic repairs (change battery/oil filter or
replace cam belt) would you take the car to the garage? - Yes 
77%  60% 
Attempted basic car maintenance and then had to call a mechanic or
take the car to a garage because you couldn't repair the car 
13%  13% 

Regional Differences

  Most Likely  Least Likely 
Take the car to a garage South East - 80% North East, North West, East Anglia
and West Midlands - 75%
Attempt to make repairs North West and North East - 12% London, South East and Scotland - 8%
Ask spouse or partner

South West, West Midlands and Yorkshire
and Humber - 7%

Wales - 4%
 Ask a friend for help North West and Scotland - 4%  South East, South West and Yorkshire
and Number - 2% 
 Call a breakdown company London - 4%  East Midlands, North West, Yorkshire
and Humber and Scotland - 1% 
 Have always been able to make the
repairs themselves
 North East - 37% London - 25% 
 Have never tried to make repairs
London - 63%  North East - 52%