These car manuals are even longer than epic novels

Updated Oct 19, 2020 | Same topic: Automotive Industry Updates

It was also found out that only a few people read their car manuals.

If you have bought a car before, then you’ll have seen for yourself how the typical car manual looks like. Usually, they’re hefty, pieces of literature that are definitely thicker than your average rice-cooker manual. However, some specific car manuals can rival the length of popular novels.

A picture of a car manual.

Car user manuals usually come in the form of thick, hefty booklets like this

The length of these car manuals are epic

A survey conducted by Bristol Street Motors determined that some car manuals are actually very long reads. Here’s a list of the top ten in word count and estimated reading time:

Car manual
Word count
Estimated continuous reading time
Audi A3
11 hrs 45 mins
SEAT Ibiza
10 hrs 50 mins
Mercedes-Benz C-Class
10 hrs 42 mins
Mercedes-Benz A-Class
10 hrs 4 mins
Kia Sportage
9 hrs 21 mins
Ford Focus
8 hrs 55 mins
Volkswagen Golf
8 hrs 02 mins
Honda Civic
7 hrs 44 mins
Audi A4
7 hrs 42 mins
Nissan Juke
7 hrs 37 mins

To put it into perspective, the Audi A3’s manual is 60,446 words longer than Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. It’s also longer than The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. And yes, it would require 11 hours and 45 minutes to read continuously, without rest.

A picture of the Audi A3.

The Audi A3 is the car with the longest user manual ever

For those who do not like reading in the first place, going through the pages of these lengthy manuals can be a daunting task. So, only a handful will endure reading these in full. As a result, a car user might miss some information about the car that might prove useful in the future.

Most people however turn to other information sources like the internet. Here in the Philippines, there are even model-specific car clubs whose members are always ready to give advice or lend aid to fellow members. For some, an actual person relaying information is better than learning it from a book.

>>> Related: Car Club Spotlight | CLUB GD ARIA | Legit Respect

Car Manual Survey: Most don’t read it

While the relationship between readership and the manual length wasn’t established, around 60 percent say that they won’t read their brand-new car’s handbook before heading out for a spin. In fact, only 29 percent read the car manual in full. The remaining also says that they will only open the manual if they encounter issues with their cars.

In connection with this, the report also states that more and more people are opting to consult the internet for more information about their cars. The most popular choice is of course YouTube. Some select few say that they prefer talking to other owners of similar car models.

A picture of a poll on the Bristol Street Motors website.

Not all have the patience to read long books, much less a technical user manual [Photo: Bristol Street Motors]

While the results are enlightening, the survey was conducted in the United Kingdom. As such, there might be some factors that aren’t applicable to the Filipino motorist/car owner. We’re predicting, however, that if this study was conducted here in the Philippines, the results would be more or less similar.

So, do you think that printed car manuals are still useful or car manufacturers would be better off with digital manuals? For more car news, car reviews, and car maintenance tips, keep reading here on

Cesar G.B. Miguel

Cesar G.B. Miguel


Cesar is a graduate of AB English with previous experience working as a freelance writer for varied internet publications in-between his former stints in the Pharmaceutical Industry, and later as a First Aid Provider and Training Staff at the Iligan City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.

Since childhood, Cesar has been keenly interested in cars. He has learned the ins and outs of these marvelous vehicles and is a competent amateur mechanic who is keen on sharing his knowledge.

Cesar is perceptive of car culture in general – not only in the Philippines but in global regard, as well. His knowledge ranges from the prevalent stories and trends among car enthusiasts around the world, to closely following the latest local and international developments in the automotive industry.

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