Drivers warned to carry out own car safety checks if yearly MOT scrapped

What changes are being made to the Highway Code?

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Transport Minister Grant Shapps reportedly suggested making the change to two-year MOTs in recent Cabinet meetings, where Boris Johnson instructed ministers to come up with plans to tackle the financial disaster plaguing the UK. The UK has some 32.5 million vehicles registered on its roads; one of the biggest driving nations in Europe.

And, the recent discussion has resulted in motoring experts encouraging British motorists to carry out their own safety checks instead.

The car leasing company Leasecar.co.uk and its sister site LeaseElectricCar.co.uk claimed that the discussion is at least a good opportunity to encourage drivers up and down the country to conduct their own regular car safety checks so they can keep fully in tune with their vehicle.

They suggested the idea of conducting a ‘DIY MOT’ – consisting of around ten essential safety checks they recommend to be carried out by drivers at least once a year.

However, they stressed that professional advice must be sought from a garage to address problems drivers might find.

A spokesperson for Leasecar.co.uk said: “At the moment the idea of a bi-annual MOT is just speculation with the Government seeking to help cash strapped Britons.

“However, we believe that it is still just as important to ensure cars are road safe at all times.

“This doesn’t mean drivers have to be spending money at the garage regularly as there are some simple checks they can do themselves that don’t involve a lot of time and effort.”

Here is a full list of checks that motorists can carry out themselves:

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Check mirrors

Drivers should make sure all their mirrors are in place and check they’re not cracked, impairing the view or exposing a damaged edge. Some mirrors can be removed and replaced with a stick-on version.

Tyre tread

Ensuring that all tyres have the legal tread amount is essential for road safety. The legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm. Drivers can check the tread of their tyres using a 20p coin.

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View Deal

They can do that by inserting the coin into the grooves of the tyre and if the outer band is visible then it will need to be replaced.

Lights working

Drivers should get someone to help them check both the front and rear lights on the car whilst it’s stationary.

Not only are functioning lights vital at night time but it is also a legal requirement.

Lightbulbs can usually be replaced at home. Details on how to do this safely and properly are normally in the driver’s manual.

Seatbelts

There is often an assumption that seatbelts don’t need to be checked but they also require regular inspection.

Motorists should check seatbelts for damage and pull them to make sure they react properly.

Check fluids

Oil, brake, power steering, and windscreen fluid can all be located under the bonnet in most cars.

Drivers can check the vehicle user guide for information on the appropriate fluid levels and how to replace and top up these liquids.

Windscreen

The windscreen should be examined for cracks. As long as a mark is not over 10mm and not obstructing the driver’s view, or on the driver’s side, motorists should be fine.

Elsewhere on the windscreen, the mark should be no larger than 40mm.

Wipers

A broken windscreen wiper can lead to a straight fail during an MOT regardless of what the weather is like that week.

Drivers can lift the wiper blade up from the glass and inspect it to make sure there are no cracks, snaps, or imperfections. Wipers can easily be replaced at home, motorists just need to check what model is appropriate for the car and purchase accordingly.

Keep it clean

Keeping on top of car maintenance when it comes to cleaning is essential for a healthy and safe vehicle.

Cleaning of both the interior and exterior can prevent the deterioration of the car and its parts, in turn keeping it safer on the road.

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