Red warning lights on dashboards being ignored by drivers


New research from the BCA, British Car Auctions,, has revealed that over 20% of drivers ignore red warning lights when they appear on their dashboard. The leading car remarketing company in the UK, BCA revealed that 1 in 5 motorists are ignoring these warning lights by carrying on driving as normal rather than pulling up as soon as they are safe to do so.

Over half of the drivers surveyed said that they would stop immediately if warning lights started flashing and then call for assistance. A very small number however, 5.5%, said they would sort it out when they had time if it hadn’t gone away on its own by then.

When it comes to amber advisory warnings, 36% of motorists who responded to the BCA research said they had ignored amber advisory dashboard warnings and did not respond to them with any urgency. Over half (59%) of those polled would continue on to their destination if an advisory light appeared and then address the problem.

According to BCA’s latest research, it’s not just warning lights motorists are ignoring as a third (35%) of survey respondents said if a ‘service due’ message came up on their dashboard they would not book a service for up to a month. Nearly half of motorists are, however, diligent in their attention to vehicle servicing with 28% getting their car serviced every 10-12,000 miles and 19% servicing their vehicle in line with manufacturer recommendations.

But the overall cost of motoring certainly appears to be a concern for many drivers, with 15% admitting that in the past year they have delayed or deferred repairs needed.

However, as Tim Naylor, Editor the BCA Used Car Market Report explained, this could be a false economy, “If a dashboard light comes on, ignoring it now could lead to a substantial repair bill later on that might easily have been avoided. In some cases the vehicle may not be safe to drive and at the very least it may mean performance is compromised which is in itself potentially dangerous.”

He added “Whilst putting off repairs or maintenance may postpone immediate motoring costs, it could cost a lot more in the long run. While mechanical repairs should be attended to as soon as possible, it is also a false economy to ignore damage to bodywork and trim. Dents, dinks and scratches tend to deteriorate further if not addressed quickly and could end up affecting the resale value of the car some time down the line.”

*BCA surveyed 625 motorists, July 2013