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Young drivers lack basic car know-how

Young drivers fork out £140 million every year in car maintenance due to their lack of basic mechanical know-how, new research suggests.According to the study carried out by Direct Line, half of all drivers under 25 do not know how to jumpstart their car or replace a tyre, compared to 25 per cent of drivers aged 45 or over.Nearly one in three admitted to paying to have their oil changed, while 25 per cent also admitted to having their brake fluid checked.The findings come despite the DVLA introducing a car maintenance section to the practical driving test in September 2003.Some 37 per cent of 18 to 24 year olds who have passed this test still struggle when it comes to checking the level of their car's brake fluid."It's not unusual for drivers to feel a little helpless when it comes to car maintenance -however, it is important for drivers to be able to make basic safety checks on their vehicle, such as checking tyre pressure and oil level," Emma Holyer, Direct Line's motor spokesperson said."These checks are essential before embarking on a long journey and we are urging motorists to ensure they are able to conduct these simple tests rather than relying on parents or mechanics for help."Our research also shows that more than four in ten drivers have waited for their vehicle's annual service to fix some of these potentially serious problems. This should be avoided as it is important that all motorists are driving roadworthy vehicles," she added.Asking parents for help is still a popular and altogether cheaper alternative to paying out for professional know-how, with 62 per cent of all young drivers confessing to turning to their mums and dads for advice.

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