Research finds British cars among the best maintained in the world, but how do you keep them in top condition?

A new report has found that British cars are among the best maintained cars in the world, with drivers spending, on average, £695 a year maintaining their cars.

With around 30 million cars in the UK, motorists spend roughly £21.1 billion a year on services and repairs, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT).

Car buyers working on a car to keep it in its best condition

The £695 a year figure was also found to be 12% more than the global average. The report also found that the UK has fewer cars in poor condition, generating excess pollution or in need or new parts, when compared to other countries, meaning UK car buyers can be confident in the quality of the vehicle when purchasing a second hand car.

There are in excess of 42,500 service and repair garages located across the UK, which supports over 345,000 jobs and generates £12.2 billion to the economy. This leaves the UK automotive aftermarket are the eighth largest in the world, larger than countries like India and Brazil.

These figures are only expected to rise further in the future, with car sales continuing to grow. Experts have predicted that by 2022, the UK aftermarket will be worth £28 billion, supporting over 400,000 jobs.

The report also found that more motorists are turning to the internet to compare prices for services and repairs. The UK currently has the highest penetration of online retail for car parts at seven percent, which is ahead of countries like Germany and France, who are at five per cent and four per cent respectively.

Speaking of the results, SMMT Chief Executive, Mike Hawes said: “The UK's aftermarket is one of the most competitive in the world and plays a critical role in keeping Britain's 30 million-plus cars roadworthy.

“Robust competition and a strong independent sector have helped reduce the cost of vehicle ownership in the UK and provide greater choice to consumers.”

However, it has been warned that the automotive sector must stay up to date of the evolving vehicle sector and the technology being developed in new cars.

Weekly checks

Us Brits obviously like to keep our cars in peak condition, as we aren’t afraid to shell out some money when the time comes. But there are a few checks that you should be performing weekly in order to ensure your car stays in its best condition, which we have taken a look at below:

Brake fluid level

Brake fluid is of course essential for safety, and if there is a leak in the line to the braking system, your car’s brakes can fail. By regularly checking the fluid level, you can chart the levels and help identify how quickly it is being used. If it is depleting rapidly, chances are you have a leak somewhere and should seek professional help.

Coolant level

As the warmer weather is coming in, we tend to use our air conditioning a lot more. Our cars also feel the heat, and it can take its toll. The coolant helps to keep both the engine and the car itself cool, so keeping an eye on the level indicator on the reservoir is important. If the level drops, make sure you top it up but only do so when the engine is cold, or you might get sprayed with hot coolant.

Engine oil level

Some cars tend to use up more oil in traffic or warmer temperatures, and often you are alerted to the oil level via a warning light on your dashboard. But it is best practice to keep your oil level between the markers on the dipstick, as a lack of oil can hamper your car’s engine.

Once again, make sure the engine is cold before you perform this action, and check your manual to find which oil grade your car requires.

Tyres

Ideally, you should check your tyre pressure every time you visit a petrol station, or at least every other. You should also regularly check for any damage to the tyre, such as bubbles or any objects that might have got stuck into the tyre.

Leakages

There is a chance that hitting some parts under the car due to a bad pothole or hitting a speedbump could lead to some damage. Check for any leakage underneath when you have left your car parked for a period of time, and make sure it is not water overflow from your air condition, for example. If it is damaged and there is an oil leak, the fluid will have some colour to it.