With an increasing number of people turning to electric cars in the UK, The Motor Ombudsman, has announced the introduction of a new search facility and dedicated symbol on its Garage Finder to make it easier for drivers to find a local accredited business, that is able to service and repair electric vehicles (EVs).
The latest upgrade to the popular online tool (TheMotorOmbudsman.org/garage-finder) comes in response to the findings of The Motor Ombudsman’s recently commissioned YouGov survey of 1,903 UK driving licence holders. Incredibly, the survey found that many UK drivers believe an EV needs an oil change, or the timing belt checking over annually – yes, really.
The study found that, if they were to own an electric vehicle, 84% of people would not know of a local independent garage or car dealership where they could take it for its annual service. Not that surprising given how niche electric vehicles still are, especially in semi-rural areas, or less wealthy parts of the UK.
In addition, when it came to understanding how an annual service for a battery-powered vehicle differs to the yearly review for a car powered by an engine, only around one in ten survey participants (12%) indicated that they would be able to distinguish between the two. (Frightening isn’t it? – Ed)
Out of all regions in the UK, licence holders residing in London (16%) and Wales (15%), were the most able to recognise that servicing for zero emission cars had fundamental differences to that for a car running on petrol or diesel fuel.
Of the 1,903 adults with a driving licence who took part in the study, two thirds were able to correctly identify that brakes and tyres (67% and 66% of individuals respectively) would be checked during an annual service for an EV. Furthermore, over 60% of those polled rightly indicated that the condition of the suspension (61%) and windscreen wipers (63%) would also be looked at.
In contrast, 40% incorrectly said that the air filter would need to be examined during the routine maintenance of a battery-powered car. Similarly, just under a third of those surveyed stated that they thought there would be an oil change (30%), whilst the car’s timing belt (29%), emissions (26%) and spark plugs (26%) would equally be inspected when on the ramp, checks that actually wouldn’t happen during an EV service.
Bill Fennell, Chief Ombudsman and Managing Director at The Motor Ombudsman, said: “Sales of electric vehicles are fast gathering pace, and they all need to be serviced and maintained in accordance with recommended manufacturer guidelines. Our research showed that there was an inherent need to make it quicker and easier for owners to find a business where they can take their car in for a service. The new facility on our Garage Finder responds to these requirements.”
To access The Motor Ombudsman’s Garage Finder, visit www.TheMotorOmbudsman.org/Garage-Finder.