How often should you check your car?

You should check your oil, tyres and petrol before every long journey. Manufacturers recommend that a car should be serviced every 12,000 miles, or every 12 months, whichever comes first. Some cars feature a self- diagnostic system which will advise you when your car service is due.  

Legally you must ensure you:

  • Have a valid licence that covers the category of vehicle you are driving
  • Have insurance that covers you for the vehicle you are driving
  • Have an MOT; this usually applies to vehicles over three years old
  • Make sure the vehicle is taxed
  • Make sure the vehicle is registered
  • Make sure the vehicle is in a roadworthy condition 

Occasionally people will arrive for their test with lights out or bald tyres. When this happens we offer the candidate 15 minutes to rectify the problem so the test can go ahead. If they are unable to, the test is cancelled and the fee has to be paid again.  

We do send an email advising candidates of this and it is also on our website to read before booking. Candidates should be aware of this before they turn up for the test. 

Every time you drive your vehicle, you should check:

  • The windscreen, windows and mirrors are clean
  • All lights work
  • The brakes work

Your vehicle’s handbook will tell you how often you need to check:

  • Engine oil
  • Water and level in the radiator or expansion tank
  • Brake fluid level
  • Battery
  • Windscreen and rear window washer bottles – top up with windscreen washer fluid when necessary
  • Tyres must have the correct tread depth and be free of cuts and defects 

The handbook will also tell you when your car needs to be serviced.

Tyre tread

Tread must be a certain depth, depending on the type of the vehicle.

  • Cars, light vans and light trailers – 1.6 mm
  • Motorcycles, large vehicles and passenger-carrying vehicles – 1mm
  • Mopeds only need to have a visible tread 

There must be tread across the middle three-quarters and around the entire tyre.

Chloe Denny

Diamond services manager

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