Car safety checks


30 June 2020

A car left unused for a prolonged period of time can develop problems that prevent it from working properly, potentially making it unsafe to drive. As current lockdown restrictions start to ease, here are some important checks you can carry out on your vehicle to ensure it is still road legal and safe to drive.


Flat batteries

Ideally cars shouldn’t be left too long without the engine being started, and turning it on and off for a short period will most likely drain the battery rather than charge it. To help top up your battery charge, it is recommended that you drive it for 15-20 minutes at least once every fortnight.


Fuel quality

Fuel lasts for about 6 – 12 months but when left in the tank any longer than this, it can cause damage to the car’s engine. Condensation can appear in the fuel tank which results in degrading the fuel. This condensation is less likely to build up in a full tank. If you don’t have very much in the tank, and it has been left for a few weeks, it is worth topping up with fresh fuel.


Road legal

Ensuring your MOT and service is up to date on your car is vital as the mechanics will ensure all the checks have been carried out to make sure your car is road legal. Vehicles which were due a MOT after 30th March 2020 have automatically received a 6 month extension.


Tyre troubles

Tyre pressure can still be lost even when the tyres are at a standstill. Once you are able to, ensure the tyres are pumped up to the recommended level. It’s also important to check the tread of your tyres. The legal minimum tread is a depth of 1.6mm in a continuous band around three quarters of the tyre.


Sticking brakes

Leaving the handbrake on for a long period of time can result in sticking brakes (when the brake pads get stuck to the discs). If you are parked on a flat surface, you can leave your car in gear to prevent this from happening. It is also recommended to put a piece of wood or a brick in front/behind the wheels to stop it rolling forward or backwards.