Currently reading: Nearly half of UK drivers ignore car warning lights
Survey finds that almost 25% of drivers will disregard red warning lights for several days

A new report has found that UK drivers regularly ignore potentially serious dashboard warning lights.

Dealer group Robins & Day surveyed 2000 UK adults and found almost half (46%) admitted to failing to address warning lights immediately.

A further 19% said they would continue driving with warning lights for another two or three days - even if the light was red.

The report found that of the 32.7 million people holding a full driving license in England, at least 6.2 million have no problem with ignoring red lights for a significant period of time.

The most common reasons drivers gave for ignoring lights were that they believed the dashboard lights may be playing up (40%), that they were afraid of the cost of repairs (34%) and laziness (24%).

A spokesperson for Robins & Day said: “One of the worst things you can do as a driver and car owner, is ignore the warning signs that appear on your dashboard.

“Whilst it’s natural to have concerns around car costs, by ignoring the illuminated symbols on your dashboard, you could actually be landed with a bigger bill as well as doing no end of damage to your vehicle,” they added.

Failing to investigate the cause of a dashboard warning light is also illegal. More than one in ten drivers (12%) do not know this and 10% are unaware it can invalidate their insurance policy, according to Robins & Day.

The report comes as garages report an 80% increase in MOTs during the first week of this year, compared to 2020.

During the first national lockdown in response to the Coronavirus pandemic last year, the UK government announced a six-month MOT extension, but this time no extension is being offered.


Coronavirus: UK drivers granted six-month MOT exemption 

MOT checklist: everything you need to know

James Ruppert: The cars most likely to fail an MOT

Join the debate

Add a comment…
jensen_healey 19 January 2021

Not sure whether failing to investigate a warning light is actually illegal but driving an unroadworthy vehicle certainly is. The light could well be indicating that the vehicle is unroadworthy.

In our garage we often have people come in complaining of a warning light on the dash, asking if it can just be switched off. Usually showing them their completely flat tyre(s) and adding air resolves the issue and enlightens them.....

Curly55 19 January 2021

So many idiots out there, no oil i.e. low level resulting in no oil pressure is a common fault resulting in an expensive bill due to stupidity but good luck to the warning light ignorers out there, yes some are advisory but you need to know which ones are important, sadly many do not have a clue !!!

Rather ride a m... 19 January 2021
Buy an OBD reader. Re-set lights prior to mot so you pass. Ignore lights until next mot. Works well for me and saves a fortune.
Of course I also regularly manually check important things such as lubricants fluids, tyre pressures etc.