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Ten vehicle pre-checks before driving after lockdown

As the UK government eases lockdown and we’re able to start socialising more with family and friends, you may be using your vehicle more regularly. If your car has been standing unused in the garage or on the driveway, you should check it is safe to go on the roads before setting off.

Take the time to make these ten vehicle pre-checks before driving:

  1. Check for damage. Walk around the car and make sure the lights, mirrors and indicators are intact.
  2. Tyres. Make sure the tyres are in a good condition. Are they the correct pressure? Is there enough tread? Remember, the legal tread minimum is 1.6 millimetres.
  3. Fuel. Do you have enough petrol or diesel to comfortably complete your journey?
  4. Under the bonnet checks. Make sure the oil, coolant and brake fluid are the correct level. Top up the windscreen wash if it’s low.
  5. Electrics. Turn on the ignition and check the headlights, taillights and fog lights are working. Check the indicators are operating correctly inside and outside (front, back and sides) of the vehicle.
  6. Brakes and steering. Turn on the ignition and put the car in neutral. Ask a member of your household or use reflections (eg in a window) to check the brake lights are working. Make sure the power steering is functioning correctly.
  7. Windscreen wipers. Check the wipers are fully operational. Ensure the blades are in a good condition and the rubber isn’t perishing.
  8. Number plates. If your car hasn’t been washed for a while, the registration plates may need cleaning so that they are clearly visible.
  9. Obstructions. Check the driver’s footwell for obstructions and make sure the pedals are clear.
  10. Driving position. Before setting off, check your seat, headrest and centre mirror are positioned correctly.

As well as regularly completing the above safety checks, you must make sure your car has an MOT. Check the government’s website for up-to-date information on MOTs during the pandemic (https://www.gov.uk/getting-an-mot). 

You should also regularly service your vehicle. Most manufacturers recommend servicing your car every 12 months or 12,000 miles (whichever is soonest) but check your owner’s manual for the specifics for your vehicle. 

Helen Ellis

Written by

Helen Ellis

Personal Injury

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