Checking your vehicle is roadworthy
If your vehicle MOT was due after March 30th you now have a 6 month exemption, which leaves many drivers quite understandable feeling they have one less thing to worry about during the Coronavirus pandemic. If you’re self isolating and aren’t using your vehicle whilst staying at home then you can postpone any vehicle maintenance until you’re back on the road again. However, if you’re a key worker or using your vehicle for essential travel then you will need to make sure your vehicle is “safe and roadworthy”
“Given the circumstances I’m granting an MOT temporary exemption so that if your MOT is due from 30th March 2020 you will automatically receive a SIX-month extension. However, you must still keep your car in a roadworthy condition and garages will remain open if you need repairs” Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP | Secretary of State for Transport 25/03/2020 Twitter
We would always recommend the best way to check your vehicle is safe and roadworthy is to bring it in as normal for your MOT, especially if you’re a key worker and are going to be relying on personal transport to get you safely to and from work.
However, bringing your vehicle in won’t be an option for everyone which is why the government have granted the extension.
So how to you check your vehicle is roadworthy? Here’s some guidelines to help you assess if your vehicle is safe to be on the road.
Do all your lights work? Replacement bulbs can be ordered online or replaced at your local garage. If you’re driving in the dark then your lights must work so you have good vision of the road and other road users can see you.
Of course, your tyres need to have enough tread to be legal and safe. 1.6 mm is the minimum legal limit although we would normally advise you to change tyres when they are between 2-3mm to ensure you have adequate grip and safe stopping distances in wet weather.
Wipers and washers
Your windscreen wipers need to be in good condition and your screenwash topped up and jets working.
Most vehicles these days have brake pad sensors fitted so you’ll see a warning light if they’re getting ready for changing. However, always watch out for any grinding noises or squeaking which indicate your brakes need inspecting.
Whilst you won’t be able to check emissions like we would in an MOT test, you should make sure your exhaust is in good condition. If your exhaust is louder than normal or if it’s rattling and insecure you need to get this looked at as soon as possible.
Look out for fuel leaks from your vehicle.
All your doors should open from inside and outside to ensure you and your passengers are safe, especially in an emergency.
All your vehicle mirrors should be intact and secure so you can see what’s around you clearly.
You horn needs to work to be safe on the road.
Your seat belts need to be working to keep you and any passengers safe and secure in the vehicle.