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Drivers come clean over service

2013-05-08 16:12

ALL DRESSED UP?: A UK study shows drivers will rather spend money on keeping their cars clean than taking it for a service. Image: Wheels24

LONDON, England - Young South Africans will seldom be seen with a dirty car, despite that it might need a service. But, they’re not the only ones: UK drivers will rather have their cars look pretty than take it for a service.

According to the UK’s Kwik Fit automotive and repair servicing company, many car owners are more concerned on their car’s looks than its mechanical well-being.  Forecasters say UK drivers will spend nearly R27billion on car cleaning in 2013.


The company found that four in five drivers (78%) will spend an average of R1000 on cleaning their car in 2013, yet half this number (39%) will not bother about taking it for is annual service.

The company warns that keeping a car clean should not replace maintaining the mechanics. 

KwikFit’s Roger Griggs said: "Missing out on servicing could lead to problems under the bonnet not being spotted and may also be false economy as regular maintenance can prevent minor issues becoming expensive problems. We don’t want people to neglect their vehicle’s appearanceand keeping a car clean can improve safety – but for some drivers to prioritise surface shine over mechanical components is somewhat worrying."

"The cost per year for the much-needed mechanical services is minimal when compared with fixing any major damage which neglect can lead to, and certainly inexpensive compared to the R27-billion spent on making cars look good."

Main reasons for skipping car maintenance were:

• Financial constraints (24%)
• Driving fewer kilometres (10%)
• Not believing cars need to be serviced as often as recommended (8%)
• Research also shows that those drivers most likely to spend the most money on car cleaning are also the ones likely to miss car services.

Of the 2.8-million drivers who will pay for at least five different car cleaning products or services, 50% are considering missing their next service – with 29% blaming financial constraints.


Money, however, is no option when it comes to splurging on the car’s exterior care.

Reports further show that of the UK’s youngsters aged 18-24:

• 20% will visit a drive through carwash at least 10 times in 2013.
• One in five (17%) will take their car for a valet.
• More than one in six (15%) use a jet wash with the same frequency.

Griggs added. "Our study revealed that more than a million drivers spend more than R500 a time on a car valet, which is only slightly less than the price of our Kwik Oil service. If drivers have to choose, we would recommend they prioritise what’s under the bonnet first."

What’s more important to you? A clean car or a mechanically sound ride?Email us and we'll publish your thoughts or use the Readers' Comments section below...

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