Is Your Car Too Dangerous For The Road?

Many motorists are unaware of the real risks associated with an unsafe car. Not only could it result in hefty fines and penalty points but it also puts your passengers at risk. Some of the main contributing factors to an unsafe car includes worn tyres, brakes and faulty steering systems.

Car tyres are the only parts that connect your vehicle to the road and yet many people fail to take proper care. Too many drivers neglect their tyres and fail to understand the significant impact on general road and vehicle safety. Balding or worn tyres affect acceleration, braking, directional force and even fuel consumption. It is essential to check your tyres at least once a month and know when to replace them.

The Truth About Unsafe Vehicles In The UK

According to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), London and Birmingham are rife with unroadworthy cars. Vehicles with defective brakes, worn tyres and faulty steering systems are among those prosecuted since 2016. The fines associated with these faults are up to £5,000.

As stated by the DVLA, the areas with the highest number of prosecutions for improper vehicle maintenance are as follows:

  • London
  • Birmingham
  • Liverpool
  • Glasgow
  • Ilford
  • Leeds
  • Bristol
  • Bradford
  • Dagenham and Nottingham
  • Peterborough

Motorists in London have five times more prosecutions than any other area in the country. The figures show 4,926 penalties issued since 2016. Birmingham is in second place with 792 prosecutions, Liverpool had 625 and Glasgow came in fourth with 456.

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Penalty Points And Fines For Unroadworthy Cars

Authorities classify vehicles as too dangerous for the road from illegal tyre tread to faulty exhaust and broken lights. This results in hefty fines and points on your driver’s licence which could have been avoided with proper car maintenance. Do the right thing and book a FREE vehicle safety check at Elite Garages for extra peace of mind.

The most common issue is driving with illegal tyres which could cost you up to £2,500 per tyre for standard size cars and £5,000 per tyre for larger vehicles. That is an insanely high price to pay for not doing your due diligence in following basic safety protocols. In addition to that, there were also 5,613 penalties for defective brakes and 418 for faulty steering.

When Should I Replace My Tyres?

While many people believe it is better to replace all four tyres at once, it is not always possible. Several factors play a part including unforeseen damage and different rates of tyre wear between the front and rear. There is no rule as to how long a tyre will last as it depends on tyre design, driving habits, climate, road conditions and level of tyre maintenance.

A general rule is to get an expert to check your tyres when they are five years or older. This should happen at least once a year. Further to that, Michelin states that ‘tyres older than 10 years after their date of manufacture should be replaced as a precaution’. This also applies to tyres that may seem usable and not worn down to the tread wear indicator.

Related: ‘6 Things To Know About Your Tyre Tread

Checking Your Brakes

Like tyres, brakes are one of the most essential parts of your vehicle. It is your duty to ensure that they are checked regularly and replaced when necessary. There are several ways to determine whether you need to replace your brakes including the following:

  • Grinding noises could indicate that your brake pads have worn down to the metal calliper
  • Squeaking or squealing suggests the pads have worn down significantly
  • Vehicle pulling to the side when braking could mean a seized calliper or sticky hydraulics
  • Pulsating or juddering could indicate warped brake discs as a result of excessive heat
  • Sluggish vehicle performance may be the result of brake callipers sticking which causes the discs to be partially engaged
  • A spongy pedal is a great indicator that you need new brake fluid or that your brakes are worn

Steering And Suspension

The steering ability of your car is directly linked to various factors including suspension and tyres. When steering becomes difficult, especially at low speeds, there might be an issue with your suspension or steering system.

Steering and suspension systems are not only important for safety but also to improve the ride comfort. All parts associated with steering and suspension withstand a large amount of stress and the constant wear and tear mean regular checks and continuous maintenance. Here are a few common signs of suspension problems:

  • Car pulling to one side when driving
  • When you start feeling every bump
  • One corner of the car is lower than the others
  • Diving, rolling and/or squatting
  • Difficulty when steering
  • Oily shock absorbers

At Elite Garages, we offer a free tyre check, vehicle safety check and no-obligation suspension inspection.

Word To The Wise

According to Mark Tongue, director at Select Car Leasing; “It’s shocking how many drivers have let their vehicles get in such a sorry state. A vehicle which has defective steering, brakes or tyres, or one that’s in a dangerous condition overall, is one that a driver is not truly in control of, and which could lead to a serious accident.”

He continued by adding that, “Keeping your motor in shape isn’t just about making sure you have a valid MOT. It needs to be serviced and maintained regularly because if it won’t stop or turn as you want it to, it’s simply a weapon on wheels.”

Expert Vehicle Services From Elite Garages

It makes sense that many people living in London don’t use their cars regularly as public transport is better than outlying areas. This can easily result in vehicle owners failing to realise that their cars are in need of safety checks, MOTs and servicing.

If you have any doubts about the condition of your car, visit Elite Garages for a FREE tyre safety check. Not only does it give you the necessary peace of mind but it identifies issues early on so you could avoid a dangerous and expensive situation. Early detection is key for keeping you, your family and other road users safe especially.

We offer exceptional value without any hidden costs or small print so call us today if you need expert advice. Our professional, experienced and friendly team is here to help you with all your vehicle needs.