Survey finds over half of UK motorists don’t know how to change a wheel

A new survey has found that over half of motorists in the UK don’t know how to change a wheel on their car when they get a flat tyre.

Car care product manufacturer Holts posed the questions to people across the UK about their motoring knowledge, causes of stress on the road and their driving habits.

Nearly a quarter of people (23%) said they would prefer to use a tyre filler rather than changing the tyre itself if they experienced a flat.

Hard shoulder madness

The survey questioned 1,000 people and found that, even though the Highway Code includes rules for breaking down on the motorway, 44% of drivers said they wouldn’t know what to do if they broke down on the hard shoulder. This also topped the list of the worst places to breakdown.

Around 13% of people admitted to using the hard shoulder for other non-urgent reasons, such as a child needing the toilet, a comfort break and bizarrely, for a picnic!

Motoring worries

With autumn arriving, the darker evenings and driving at night causes stress and anxiety for a number of motorists – 64% in fact. The survey also explored motorist’s biggest concerns when their loved ones were at the wheels. They were as follows:

  • Breakdowns – 32%

  • Flat tyres – 24%

  • Other drivers – 22%

  • Potential collisions – 22%


A further 89% admitted to experiencing road rage, with the most common causes being dangerous drivers (30%), cyclists (17%) and heavy traffic (16%).

Helping hands

Motorists were also asked which celebrity would be the most helpful in the event of a breakdown (we don’t understand why this was on the survey either…) and ex England rugby player Matt Dawson topped the list, beating the likes of Chris Evans, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond to the top spot.

Claire Fenton from Holts had her say of the results, stating: “Flat tyres can come at the worst times – when you’ve got a car full of children, are running late to a special occasion or on the way to work – and this can be inconvenient, time-consuming and stressful. As well as highlighting how many drivers feel stressed, anxious or angry on the road, it showed that many motorists wouldn’t know how to change a tyre on their car or what to do if they break down on motorway hard shoulder.

“…and car users will be keen to have Matt on board in case of emergency because who better to help push your car to safety than an ex-rugby player?!”

If you are taking a break from looking at our car selling app and realise you cannot change a tyre yourself or you are unsure what to do in the event of a breakdown, why not take a look at our following guides:

How to change a flat tyre

What to do in the event of a breakdown