Nearly 1 in 10 UK motorists never check their oil and almost 66% of us donâ€™t know the correct type to use.
So says Chevron Global Lubricants, which commissioned a survey of 5400 motorists across the UK, Spain, The Netherlands and Romania.
By contrast, an average of just 3.1% of motorists surveyed on the continent do not check their oil levels between services.
In Spain, 60.3% of car owners check their vehicleâ€™s oil requirements with their service centre before topping up.
And Romanians get top marks for oil savvy with almost 80% knowing which brand of oil is in their car, compared to 44% of UK owners.
The survey also revealed different buying trends.
While more than half of Spanish drivers prefer to pay their garage to top up their oil, just 14% of UK owners opt for this service, with more than 70% of us preferring to buy our own oil between services.
Brian Hayes, Chevronâ€™s UK marketing manager, suggested that oil firms need to educate motorists about the dangers of incorrect oil usage.
He pointed out that the oil market is getting more complicated, a trend underlined by the fact that over the last 15 years, Chevronâ€™s Havoline range of engine oil has expanded from 4 to 14 products.
â€œNow more than ever,â€ said Hayes â€œa knowledge of which oil to use in your carâ€™s engine is as essential as knowing which type of fuel to use.â€