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Majority of car owners miss regular oil checks – increasing the likelihood of lower engine efficiency and higher emissions

New nationwide research finds a quarter of car owners check their engine oil levels once per month, which Castrol recommends to ensure engines run efficiently and effectively

Close-op of woman checking car engine oil level on a dipstick
  • New nationwide research finds a quarter of car owners check their engine oil levels once per month, which Castrol recommends to ensure engines run efficiently and effectively
  • 30% say they don’t check at all, leaving it to a mechanic to do as part of the annual service
  • Castrol’s ‘Oil Check Challenge’ campaign highlights importance of regular oil level monitoring
  • Many Castrol Branded Workshops to offer free oil checks for drivers
  • Drivers who sign up for free oil check reminders via will get the chance to win a free oil top-up kit 

A new nationwide survey has found that just 24% of UK car owners say their car’s engine oil level is checked once per month*, which lubricants experts at Castrol recommend is necessary to optimise fuel efficiency, minimise carbon emissions and extend the life of the engine.  


The new research was commissioned by Castrol as part of its ‘Oil Check Challenge’ campaign, which highlights the importance of regular monitoring of an engine’s oil level. Castrol is launching a competition to win free oil top-up kits – and is sharing simple online guidance on how motorists can quickly and easily assess the oil level of their car themselves. Find out more at:


In addition, many Castrol-branded workshops across the country that have signed up to the campaign will offer drivers free oil checks. Customers can find their local Castrol branded workshop at:


Castrol’s survey found that some cars on UK roads go for extended periods without any check of the engine’s oil level, with 30% of owners saying they leave it to mechanics to do as part of the vehicle’s annual service. 32% of respondents stated that they did not know the frequency with which oil checks should ideally take place. 


19% of car owners polled said that they would check the oil themselves, but only if the car were to alert them with a warning light. However, according to Castrol, the oil warning light on most cars illuminates only when the oil reserve is at or below the minimum, and at this point the engine can already be at serious risk of damage. 


A minority of UK car owners (32%) have never topped up the engine oil on their current car or any previous car, and 12% say they wouldn’t know how to perform a check on their current vehicle. Many stated that they are not confident in doing an oil check themselves, with almost a third (32%) agreeing with the statement “I would prefer a technician / mechanic to check as they would do a more effective job.” Only 45% say they typically check the oil level themselves, with the remainder instead asking for it to be done by a partner, spouse, neighbour, relative or work colleague. 


Castrol estimates that 21% of vehicles on European roads are currently low on oil, and 8% are at immediate risk of damage because the oil level is at or below the minimum recommended level**. 


“It’s clear from our survey that there is still some work to do in making car owners aware that their vehicle oil levels should be checked regularly, and to build their confidence in doing so”, comments Shailendra Gupte, Marketing Director EMEA, at Castrol. “Many of our Castrol Branded Workshops will offer customers free oil checks to help ensure their car engines are running efficiently and effectively.”


“Drivers can also view simple step-by-step instructions on Castrol’s website showing just how quick and easy it is to check and top-up engine oil. By doing this monthly, drivers can dramatically reduce the risk of running low, which can severely impair engine performance and efficiency, and potentially lead to engine damage and failure.” 


Drivers can also visit this site to sign up for timely oil check reminders to avoid their car’s oil level becoming critically low. Those who register will be automatically entered into a prize draw to win a free Castrol Edge top-up kit.


* OnePoll research – conducted during July 2021 among 1,000 UK car owners
** Analysis of 1,885 cars within Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland and Romania 

About Castrol

Castrol, one of the world’s leading lubricant brands, has a proud heritage of innovation and fuelling the dreams of pioneers. Our passion for performance, combined with a philosophy of working in partnership, has enabled Castrol to develop lubricants and greases that have been at the heart of numerous technological feats on land, air, sea and space for over 100 years. 

Castrol is part of the BP group and serves customers and consumers in the automotive, industrial, and marine and energy sectors in over 120 countries. Our branded products are recognized globally for innovation and high performance through our commitment to premium quality and cutting-edge technology. To find out more about Castrol please visit