British drivers are taking better care of their cars than their own health, according to new study from Halfords Autocentres.

Research from the leading UK garage chain into driver behaviour has found that whilst 83% of motorists visit a garage regularly to keep on top of vehicle servicing and maintenance, only 17% of people regularly visit a doctor for check-ups – with almost half (48%) admitting they only visit a healthcare professional when they have a problem.

Amazingly two-thirds (66%) of Brits feel that an annual health ‘MOT’ should be compulsory for people and more than three-quarters (76%) believe they personally would benefit from having one. However, with no formal requirement for a health check today’s busy lifestyles mean only 9% of people visit their doctor even once a year.

Commenting on the findings, TV’s Dr Pixie McKenna said: “It’s shocking to learn of the chances people are prepared to take with their health. Just as a car needs a safety check at least once a year, your body also needs a thorough check from a professional.

“In my experience, men are always more reluctant to see what’s going on under the bonnet when it comes to their health and it often takes something to be hanging off for them to take a begrudged trip to see the doctor. But when it comes to vehicles, it’s most certainly the other way around!

“But no matter whether it is a medical or mechanical MOT, regular checks can be vital in identifying problems - be in the persistent cough that turns into pneumonia or the dysfunctional airbag that could cause more damage than good in an emergency.”

The research from Halfords Autocentres examined what sort of mechanical and medical ‘ailments’ would be of sufficient concern to prompt people to visit the garage or their doctor.

Feeling tired and finding it hard to get going in the morning would concern a third (31%) of people enough to seek medical advice but if their car experienced similar problems with starting nearly two thirds (65%) would seek technical advice without delay.

Well over half of people (64%) would seek medical advice for high or low blood pressure, whilst 58% of drivers consider low oil pressure of sufficient concern to visit the garage. However, since cars feature an oil pressure gauge and warning light, whilst people do not, without regular medical check-ups high or low blood pressure may go unnoticed for some time.

Halfords Autocentres’ Stefan Warhaftig said: “This study highlights that the structure of having an annual MOT does encourage drivers to take better care of their cars, whilst the lack of one for health is encouraging risk taking.

“Fortunately broadly similar numbers of people would have a new or unexpected physical pain or new or unexpected noise on their car (71% and 70% respectively) checked straight away but by this stage further additional damage could have been caused.”

Over a third of drivers (39%) believe their car’s annual MOT is a valuable safety check, 24% view it as a necessary evil and a further 20% see it as a means of ensuring their car’s reliability.

To find your nearest Halfords Autocentre, find out more about our MOT services or make a booking online visit


*Dr Pixie McKenna is best known for her work on TV’s Embarrassing Bodies.

Media contacts:

Josh Roberts or Hayley Longdina , Grayling, T: 0121 265 7070

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Notes to Editors:

About Halfords Autocentres

Halfords Autocentres is a leading independent garage network with a heritage spanning more than three decades.

Highly trained technicians at over 300 Halfords Autocentres carry out over 1 million jobs a year - including MOTs, car servicing and repairs as well as tyre sales and fitting - for over 850,000 customers a year, with more than 9 out of 10 of them being happy to recommend us to their friends.

Being independent means that we deliver dealership quality work at more affordable prices for any make or model of car. We offer a price match guarantee and a minimum guarantee of 12 months or 12,000 miles on work carried out (See website for terms and conditions).

About Us

Halfords is the UK's leading retailer of automotive, cycling and leisure products and, through Halfords Autocentres, also one of the UK's leading independent car servicing and repair operators. Halfords customers shop at 465 stores in the UK and ROI and at for pick-up at their local store or direct home delivery. Halfords Autocentres operates from around 300 sites nationally and offers motorists dealership-quality MOTs, repairs and car servicing at affordable prices. The Halfords group strategy is based on three pillars: · Supporting Drivers Of Every Car · Inspiring Cyclists Of Every Age · Equipping Families For Their Leisure Time The Getting Into Gear strategy for the Retail business is based on executing in five key areas in order to deliver a significantly-enhanced customer experience: · Service Revolution · The H Factor · Stores Fit to Shop · 21st Century Infrastructure · Click with the Digital Future Halfords employs approximately 12,000 colleagues and sells around 9,000 product lines in store, increasing to around 160,000 Retail products online. The Retail offering encompasses significant ranges in car parts, cycling products, in-car technology, child seats, roof boxes and camping equipment. Halfords’ own cycling brands include Apollo, Carrera and Boardman cycles, augmented by a range of other brands of cycles and accessories, including Kona, Mongoose, Raleigh and Pinarello. In Auto, the Halfords Essentials and Halfords Enhanced ranges are sold alongside brands such as Generic Electric, Bosch, Garmin and TomTom. The Retail Auto offering was recently augmented by the introduction of Car Parts Direct, a service delivering rapid customer access to around 130,000 car parts. In Travel Solutions, Halfords sells a premium range of camping equipment including brands such as Vango and Outwell. Halfords offers customers expert advice and a fitting service for car parts, child seats, satellite navigation and in-car entertainment systems, and a service for cycles.