Finder makes money from featured partners, but editorial opinions are our own.

Handy or hazardous? Almost 4 million Aussies service their own cars to save money

Woman checking car_Canva_1800x1000

Millions of drivers are performing repairs on their vehicles to save some cash, according to new research by Finder.

A Finder survey of 1,012 respondents found 1 in 5 Aussies (19%) – equivalent to 3.9 million people – are performing maintenance on their cars to save money.

The research found a further 12% of Australians – 2.5 million people – had done their own car maintenance in the past 1-5 years to delay needing to visit a mechanic.

Interestingly, DIY car care is most common among women, with 22% admitting they had performed their own car maintenance over the past year, compared to 17% of men.

Tim Bennett, insurance expert at Finder, said he was surprised at how many motorists have tried to repair or maintain their car themselves with a desire to cut costs.

"Drivers are understandably trying to save money, but repairing or maintaining your car incorrectly can be an expensive mistake.

"Ditching the mechanic for a quick DIY car service can end up being much more costly in the long run and in some cases dangerous."

Finder's research found a further 6% of Australians do car maintenance not because it saves money but because cars are one of their hobbies or passions.

Bennett said there are some basic car maintenance tasks you can complete that can minimise the costs of your regular car service.

"Engine oil, coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and windshield washer fluid all need to be at proper levels. Your owner's manual will tell you how to check and top them up.

"Regularly check your tire pressure and tread depth. Maintaining proper pressure improves fuel efficiency and safety. Worn-out tires can be dangerous."

Bennett said building up such skills takes time and you should seek guidance from a professional.

"If you make a mistake, it could lead to your next bill being much bigger than it originally would have been.

"For example, any repairs or replacements involving your braking system should be done by a professional mechanic.

"Similar to brakes, don't attempt repairs on the steering and suspension systems unless you have extensive mechanical experience."

Bennett reminded Aussies that altering certain parts of a vehicle can have an impact on its safety and void your car insurance.

"Any changes you make to your car, especially if they affect performance or handling, can impact your insurance.

"If you make a mistake while repairing your car and it causes further damage, especially if that damage relates to a future accident, your insurer might deny a claim.

"It's important to declare any modifications to your insurer to ensure you're covered. Undisclosed modifications can void your insurance in case of an accident."

Do you do car maintenance (e.g. changing oil) yourself to put-off a professional service and save money?
Yes, in the last 12 months19%
Yes, in the last 1-5 years12%
Yes, but I don't do it to save money, just because I'm interested6%
No, I have never done this63%
Source: Finder survey of 1,012 respondents, May 2024


  • Finder's Consumer Sentiment Tracker is a monthly recurring nationally representative survey of more than 60,000 respondents.
  • Figures in this release are based on 1,012 respondents from May 2024.
  • The Consumer Sentiment Tracker is owned by Finder and operated by Qualtrics, an SAP company.
  • The survey has been running monthly since May 2019.

Finder reviewed over 1,800 car insurance quotes in Australia. These are some of our top policy picks.

Ask a Question

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms Of Service and Finder Group Privacy & Cookies Policy.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Go to site