Can you open your car’s bonnet? Millions of Brits can’t perform simple safety checks that will now mean a failed driving test

The new driving test comes into force on December 4 and will feature a ‘show me, tell me’ section which will require students to demonstrate basic safety checks – but a new survey reveals millions of motorists can’t even open the bonnet of their own motor.

car bonnet

Do you know how to open the bonnet of your motor? Credit: Thinkstock/SIphotography

Cars are becoming more technologically advanced every year, with fewer motorists capable of performing basic safety checks on their own vehicles.

Even worse, thousands of Brits would now fail their driving test if they took it from December 4, research has revealed.

A survey of 18,000 British motorists was undetaken by the AA’s garage-finding service and the results were jaw-dropping.

Four per cent of those surveyed admitted they didn’t know how to unlatch the bonnet of their car – equating to 1.27 million of the 31.7million drivers on the UK’s roads.

When it came to checking car tyres, 22 per cent of those polled said they did not know how to ensure there was a legal amount of depth on their vehicle’s wheels.

Worryingly, with the coldest months approaching, more than a quarter of motorists don’t know how to top up their motor’s cooling system with antifreeze.

The data also showed 53 per cent of UK drivers wouldn’t know how to check if their power steering was working, or if their brake fluid needs topping up. Yet both of these feature in the new driving test and learner drivers will need to know how to do them if they want to pass.

Take the ‘new’ driving test…

The basic safety and maintenance tasks UK motorists can and can’t do

Safety/maintenance task Drivers unsure In the new driving test?
Change the oil and oil filter 68% No
Check that the power steering is working 53% Yes
Check that there is a safe level of brake fluid 38% Yes
Change a flat tyre by fitting a spare wheel 35% No
Top-up cooling system with coolant/antifreeze 26% No
Change a windscreen wiper blade 26% No
Check the level of coolant/antifreeze 22% Yes
Check the tyre tread depth 21% Yes
Top up the engine oil 16% No
Check tyre pressures 9% Yes
Check the engine oil level 8% Yes
Top up windscreen washer fluid 5% Yes
Open the bonnet 4% Yes

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