The easing of coronavirus restrictions across the UK could mean that millions of potentially unsafe cars are returning to the nation’s roads.
This emerges as a striking 1 in 5 motorists admit to having delayed or skipped their annual service during lockdown, and a further 1 in 10 prepare to postpone their vehicle’s next scheduled service.
Delaying these vital safety checks which are recommended to take place annually, could compromise the safety of the vehicle and is predicted to affect as many as 7.3 million cars in the UK.
Servicing your vehicle is critical in ensuring it runs safely and reduces the risk of road accidents. Our latest blog post covers all you need to know about getting your vehicle serviced to ensure it is safe for both yourself and other road users.
Dangers of Driving a Car That Hasn’t Been Serviced
Driving a vehicle that hasn’t been serviced in over a year increases the risk of it becoming dangerous for yourself and others. Unsafe vehicles can result in 3 penalty points on your license and potentially risk invalidating your insurance if the vehicle is found to be not roadworthy.
Not only might you risk legal action, but any issues with your vehicle that would have been detected during a service may worsen and you then run the risk of having to pay expensive repair fees as well as increasing your chances of breakdowns.
This is especially true for any components that are likely to affect road safety such as and , which must be replaced as they wear out, or steering controls and clutches which, through wear and tear, could cause breakdowns or even accidents on the road.
By ensuring your vehicle is serviced on schedule, the chances are you will avoid a costly breakdown as well as any issues which could put yourself or other road users in danger.
What Is Checked During a Service?
It’s important to note that servicing your car is different to ensuring it’s road-legal – that is the role of MOTs.
A service is more of a health check for your vehicle and will alert you to any parts which are faulty or worn out regardless of if that particular part affects your ability to legally drive your car or not.
Servicing can also uncover hidden damage that doesn’t necessarily impact your ability to drive the car. By identifying small problems which might become a huge repair issue in the future, you can save money by fixing the problem before it becomes expensive.
Although the areas checked during a service will be different for each garage, some common areas include:
Service preparation and road test:
- Visual checks for body damage as well as wheels and trims
- Operation of brakes and steering controls
- Replace oil filter
- Check for oil leaks
- Check cambelt
- Checks the operation of the clutch / Clutch fluid if applicable
- Brake pads for wear and tear
- All brakes
Steering and suspension:
- Basic wear and tear checks
- Power steering
- Shock absorber
- Exhaust system
- Condition of wheels and tyres
- Tyre size
- Tread depth
- Tyre pressure
- Windscreen wiper operation
- Screen washer operation
How Often Should Cars be Serviced?
Although servicing is not a legal requirement, drivers are legally obligated to keep vehicles safe and roadworthy. It is therefore recommended to have your car serviced every 12 months or 12,000 miles.
Maintaining regular servicing for your vehicle also means that should you wish to sell your car; you are likely to command a higher price for a vehicle with a full-service history. It will give your buyer the peace of mind that the car has been looked after and kept to a high standard.
How do you Know When a Service is Due?
Modern vehicles often have a servicing light on the dashboard that will come on when the vehicle is due a service. You may also receive a reminder from your garage if you often visit the same local spot.
If you have neither of these things, then making a note of the month you bought the car is a great way to remember to get it serviced that same month each year.
Don’t Forget Your MOT!
Alongside people delaying getting their vehicle serviced during lockdown, it is also thought that up to two million cars could be being driven illegally on UK roads since the MOT extension given due to Coronavirus expired in January 2021.
Those who were eligible for the extension and are still working remotely may not have thought about booking in their vehicle for their overdue MOT. It is crucial to check when your next MOT is due and book it in plenty of time to avoid driving illegally.
You can easily book an MOT by filling out our online form or contacting us for more information.
Book Your Next Service with Autocare Centre Chepstow
If you have delayed getting your car serviced during lockdown, or are simply due your next annual service, we can provide expert servicing for your vehicle, including camper vans and Electric vehicles.
For more information, or to book a service, get in touch with a member of our team today or call us on 01291 627 137.