Keeping Your Vehicle Roadworthy

By law, you must make sure your vehicle is safe to drive (‘roadworthy’) and it can be deemed legally unsafe even if your MOT expiry date has been extended or if your vehicle is still covered by an existing MOT. You can be fined up to £2,500, be banned from driving and get 3 penalty points for driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition.

With lockdown easing, it may have been some time since your vehicle had much usage and there is a risk that your vehicle could be unsafe and illegal to drive. We have put together a checklist to help you check your vehicle is roadworthy and safe to drive on the road.

If you think your vehicle is unsafe then contact us to arrange for your vehicle to be repaired. If you're not confident in carrying out the vehicle checks yourself, then contact us and we can carry out our Pre-MOT check for just £30, we're open Mon-Fri, 8:30 to 5pm.

Vehicle Maintenance

  • lights, indicators, reflectors, and number plates MUST be kept clean and clear
  • windscreens and windows MUST be kept clean and free from obstructions to vision
  • lights MUST be properly adjusted to prevent dazzling other road users.
  • Extra attention needs to be paid to this if the vehicle is heavily loaded
  • exhaust emissions MUST NOT exceed prescribed levels
  • ensure your seat, seat belt, head restraint and mirrors are adjusted correctly before you drive
  • ensure that items of luggage are securely stowed.

Warning Displays

Make sure that you understand the meaning of all warning displays on the vehicle instrument panel. Do not ignore warning signs, they could indicate a dangerous fault developing.

  • When you turn the ignition key, warning lights will be illuminated but will go out when the engine starts (except the handbrake warning light). If they do not, or if they come on while you are driving, stop and investigate the problem, as you could have a serious fault.
  • If the charge warning light comes on while you are driving, it may mean that the battery isn’t charging. This should also be checked as soon as possible to avoid loss of power to lights and other electrical systems.

Tyres

Tyres MUST be correctly inflated to the vehicle manufacturer’s specification for the load being carried. Always refer to the vehicle’s handbook or data. Tyres should also be free from certain cuts and other defects.

Cars, light vans and light trailers MUST have a tread depth of at least 1.6 mm across the central three-quarters of the breadth of the tread and around the entire circumference.

Motorcycles, large vehicles and passenger-carrying vehicles MUST have a tread depth of at least 1 mm across three-quarters of the breadth of the tread and in a continuous band around the entire circumference.

Every time you drive you should check:

  • the windscreen, windows and mirrors are clean
  • all lights work
  • the brakes work
  • engine oil
  • water level in the radiator or expansion tank
  • brake fluid level
  • battery
  • windscreen and rear window washer bottles - top up with windscreen washer fluid if necessary
  • tyres - they must have the correct tread depth and be free of cuts and defects

If you think your vehicle will not pass the checklist and may not be deemed safe to drive, contact us to arrange for the vehicle to be repaired. If you don't feel confident in carrying out the checks yourself, you can book our Pre-MOT check for just £30 where we will carry out the checks above and more. We're open Mon-Fri 8:30am to 5pm, contact us to make a booking.