Home > Other Offences > Making Sure Your Car is Legally Roadworthy

Making Sure Your Car is Legally Roadworthy

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 19 Apr 2012 | comments*Discuss
Roadworthy Car Car Maintenance Legal

How many times do you check your car over to make sure it is in a roadworthy condition? For most of us the answer would probably be: "Not as often as I should."

Despite the mental image that 'unroadworthy' conjures up - a rickety rust covered old shack, rattling down the road at 10 miles per hour with wing mirrors randomly falling off, you might be surprised to find out what that word actually relates to, and even more so if you find out that your perfect looking car actually falls into that classification.

Roadworthy isn't code for 'falling to pieces'. There are lots of General Maintenance Issues, such as a blown-out bulb, or greasy wiper blades that left unchecked, can lead to serious problems and could see you facing a nasty fine and potentially even getting penalty points on your licence.First things first, you should make sure that you check your car a minimum of every week for the following:

Fluid Levels:

You should check your engine coolant levels, your engine oil, brake fluid, transmission fluid (if you drive an automatic vehicle) and make sure that they are all at an acceptable level. Also check underneath the car for any leaks and if you find any, make a note of whereabouts on the car it seems to be coming from and what colour it appears to be. This can help you identify the problem later on.


It's not just a matter of pride. Although it's nice to drive around in a nice, shiny clean car, it's not essential to your safety. Or is it? Keeping your car clean will help you ensure that the glass in front of your bulbs is clear and that the headlamps and warning lights are all clearly visible to other road users. It also means that your windows and door mirrors will be kept clean, which in turn helps your visibility - ensuring a safer journey.

Tyre Checks:

Tyres are an often overlooked aspect of car maintenance. It's incredibly important to Check Your Tyres as they are so often the difference between life and death when it comes to car accidents and the capability of the vehicle you are driving to react to your actions. Tyre pressure should be checked regularly, either at home or at a petrol station where you can also fill up with some more air if you need to. Low tyre pressure can be an indication of a slow puncture, and can be really dangerous if not spotted. It can also cost you money, as when the buoyancy of the vehicle is reduced, the car uses more fuel to travel over the same distance.


Next, you should walk all around the vehicle, checking that each of the Lights and Lamps (including brakes, reversing lights, indicators and where possible, warning lights) work. This is far easier to do with someone else as you can initiate the light and they can tell you if it is working or not. If they aren't, don't panic. It's usually a really simple job to replace car bulbs and fuses.


Did you know that you can actually be fined and given penalty points on your licence because your window wash reservoir is empty? Well you can - and it has actually happened to some unlucky drivers who couldn’t believe their bad luck.

Although I'd bet that most motorists have done it at one time or another, it can be really dangerous to let your windscreen wash run out. If you've ever driven on a motorway on a sunny day when there is spray on the road, you'll know just how blinding it can be. Avoid getting caught out and always check your washer levels. Better still, make up and carry a bottle of diluted windscreen wash around with you - that way if you do run out you can top up quickly and safely - and stay on the right side of the police! Also check that your window wipers are clean and not greasy as it can be difficult to see well enough to drive if your wipers are leaving streaks all across your windscreen.


Again, best done with some help. If you can get someone to sit behind the car while you start the engine, ask them to check that the exhaust sounds ok, isn’t too loud or belching out smoke.

If all of the above seems to be in good order, then your car is probably good to go. To keep your car in a good, roadworthy condition, try to make sure that you keep up with the manufacturer’s recommended services and if you see or hear anything that you don’t think is as it should be, then get advice. With something as important as car maintenance, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopfully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Pete
    Re: Driving Offences on a Motorway
    i was coming off the motor way doing 80mph and coming to a road of 50mph didn't slow down on time and i got a letter in the post…
    27 March 2017
  • Claire123
    Re: Speed Awareness Course
    Was speeding 64 in a 50 will I get to do the awareness course
    27 March 2017
  • Kps600
    Re: Notice of Intended Prosecution
    I havd just received a NIP for 46 in a 40 limit, allowing for 10% speedo error that's 4 mph and 2 mph on top 46 mph,my…
    27 March 2017
  • Shahid
    Re: How to Appeal a Parking Ticket
    Got a ticket in Liverpool on a single yellow line observed from 2.51pm to 2.51pm so within that minute, is this lawful or can I…
    27 March 2017
  • NoPenaltyPoints
    Re: Speed Awareness Course
    lewis - Your Question:I think I got caught doing 60 in a 50 because I accidentally misread the sign, would I be offered a course
    27 March 2017
  • Nexial
    Re: Challenging a Speeding Fine
    I recently got pulled over after doing 40mph on a road that A:) didnt have any speed repeaters and B:) didnt have any…
    27 March 2017
  • Bdc
    Re: Running a Red Light
    I was waiting at a two lane light system (one lane going straight one lane going right) I was in the lane to move right when the forward…
    27 March 2017
  • Sooty
    Re: Does an NIP have to be Served Within 14 Days?
    I drove on a route covered by average speed cameras. In my ignorance I was unaware that part of it was a…
    27 March 2017
  • Marc
    Re: What to Do If You Get a Speeding Ticket
    Hi. Is there anyway of getting out of 3 speeding tickets from the same camera at different times. Its an average…
    26 March 2017
  • Minhon
    Re: When a Vehicle Can Be Seized
    On June 2015 I was driving and was striped by police as my van did not appear to be on the insurance data base, I thought the…
    26 March 2017
  • Further Reading...
    Our Most Popular...
    We are on Facebook
    Check us out...
    Add to my Yahoo!
    Add to Google
    Stumble this
    Add to Twitter
    Add To Facebook
    RSS feed
    You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the NoPenaltyPoints website. Please read our Disclaimer.