Is £2,500 the true cost of not doing a safety check before a car journey?

Young Woman Drives Car With Dog in Back Seat

If you’re like many Brits, you might be staying closer to home this summer. Perhaps you’re choosing a staycation or a road trip around the UK over travelling abroad. Either way, doing a safety check on your car before taking off is not only a smart idea but it could also save you money.

Skipping car safety checks can lead to your car being considered in ‘dangerous condition’. This can cost you as much as £2,500 in fines. And it could also add up to three penalty points to your driver’s licence.

Mike Thompson, director at Leasing Options, explains: “After a year of uncertainty for the public, it’s great to see people taking a well-deserved break and heading out on road trips. However, it’s important that before starting the journey, drivers carry out some simple, quick checks to ensure their vehicle is in a safe condition to drive long distances.”

What to look for during a car safety check

The most expensive car mistake you can make is to let your tyres get too bare. According to the RAC, that means your tyre tread not being at least 1.6mm deep across its complete circumference. Otherwise, your vehicle will be deemed to be in dangerous condition to drive. If you are caught driving it in such a condition, you will be breaking the law, according to Leasing Options.

One important thing to keep in mind is that the £2,500 is for one bald tyre. According to Lanyon Bowdler Solicitors, if all four of your tyres are too bare, you could receive a maximum fine of £10,000 and 12 points (three points per tyre), which would result in you losing your licence.  

Other safety checks you should perform in your car

To keep drivers safe, Leasing Options recommends checking both the interior and exterior of your car before setting off on a trip. Here are some simple car checks that could help prevent a vehicle breakdown along the way. They could potentially save you from a hefty fine as well. 

1. Make sure your coolant isn’t leaking

Even the tiniest leak could end up damaging your engine. According to Leasing Options, any leaks within the system will reduce your radiator’s ability to cool the coolant. This could cause the engine to run hotter than it’s designed to, resulting in damage.

2. Investigate why your car lights are dim

Sure, this could be as simple as needing to replace a bulb. But it could also indicate a problem with your car’s alternator. This is an important car safety check because it could indicate that your vehicle’s energy supply is failing.

Leasing Options points out that if you notice this and the ignition warning light turns on, this could be a potentially serious problem that needs to be addressed right away.

3. Check for symptoms of a faulty battery

According to Mike Thompson, “a flat or faulty battery is one of the most common causes of breakdowns in the UK”. While replacing a battery would set you back around £150, this could end up saving you further car costs down the line.

The post Is £2,500 the true cost of not doing a safety check before a car journey? appeared first on The Motley Fool UK.

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