How to Keep Your Car Road Legal in 2022
For any motorist on the road, it’s imperative that you keep your car road legal at all times. But what does that actually mean? And what can we do about it? Failure for a car to be roadworthy can end up with a hefty fine and points on your license, and even a possible driving ban, so it really is important to make sure you have everything in order.
To keep you on the right side of the law, we’ve put together a rundown of everything you need to know. From maintenance to insurance, read on to find out more!
Why Cars Need to Be Road Legal
Cars need to be road legal not only to keep you safe, but to keep everyone else on the road safe too. There are a few things that you need to do before you even step foot into your vehicle. The first is for your vehicle to be registered with your country’s motoring authority. In the UK, that’s the DVLA, in the US it’s the DMV, and it’s the Vehicle Administration Office in China.
If you don’t have this sorted, you can be fined a large amount. You can also incur an instant fine for vehicles that don’t have road tax or your country’s equivalent (unless your vehicle is tax-exempt, such as an electric vehicle). Sorting both of these out is as easy as filling out a few forms and a little bit of time! Always check with your government’s guidelines on how to make your car road legal.
What are the Other Main Things to Consider?
There are a number of key things to think about when it comes to making sure that your car is road legal. Let’s go over them to give you the guidance you need to stay safe and legal whilst you’re out on the road:
Whilst not necessarily a physical component of having a road legal vehicle, it is essential to actually drive your vehicle on the road legally in a multitude of countries across the glove. Insurance is a non-negotiable requirement for all drivers in the UK and Germany for example – if you don’t have it at all, your vehicle can be seized and you can face further prosecution.
Whilst third-party insurance is perfectly acceptable and legal, we recommend getting fully comprehensive car insurance so you know you’re covered in most cases.
Visibility is so undeniably important on the road. Failing to ensure that your car has sufficient visibility is a sure-fire way to put you and other motorists at serious risk, and also potentially end up landing you with a fine or worse.
Insufficient visibility through your windscreen in particular can be caused by a multitude of different things, including dirt, condensation, glass discoloration, surface damage such as chips and scratches, cracks, and even having things stuck to or in front of your windscreen.
Even if you aren’t stopped by the police, this could become an issue during vehicle inspections such as the UK’s MOT (which is also a legal requirement for most UK vehicles on public roads). It’s always a good idea to ensure that your windscreen remains clean, clear, and free of obscurations at all times, not just for legal reasons, but for safety as a whole.
Another point of keeping you and everyone else on the road safe is making sure your lights are in check. Not having working lights is an offense in various countries, and without them you’re probably going to have a bit of a tough time driving around in the dark… Always make sure that all your lights are clean and working, and replace any bulbs if there’s a problem.
It’s a cheap fix that can potentially end up an expensive mistake if not addressed.
Always be conscious of your tires. Bald tires are again another vehicle offense in a large quantity of countries. But regardless of the law, it is extremely dangerous and not only put you at risk but everyone on the road so it’s imperative to get them sorted.
Bald tires are defined by how much tread they have left. If you don’t adhere to the legal requirements for tread depth or tire condition, you could be prosecuted based on the rules of your country, but more than that, you should keep you and everyone else safe and make sure your tires are in good working order with regular maintenance.
Balding tires are incredibly dangerous when the roads are wet or during poor driving conditions, as the lack of tread means that water can’t be moved from under your tire as easily, meaning a greater risk of aquaplaning.
Brakes are the one of the most crucial things to check on your car. If your brakes are too worn or not functioning correctly, it goes without saying that you’re taking an enormous risk. This is from both a legal and safety perspective. You can check your brakes by first using a flashlight and checking your brake pads.
There should be at least ¼” thickness – if you find you have less than that, then you will have to look into getting your brake pads replaced. Keep your ears open for any odd sounds, or if anything doesn’t feel as it should when braking. Always get your car checked by a professional to ensure that everything is working safely and correctly, so if the brakes need fixing, they can be done properly.
You should check your battery periodically. If you have a bad or worn battery, you may find that your car will struggle to start up (or it might not even start at all), which can be extremely frustrating. But there are things you can do about it. If your terminals are easy to get to, then the first is to check your battery. To start, you should turn your engine off.
Locate the positive (+) and negative (-) terminals and open the cover on the positive side. With a voltmeter, you can use the positive probe (red) on the positive terminal and the negative probe (black) on the negative terminal. If your meter reads less than 12.4V then your car battery may either need charging or replacing. Whilst it may not necessarily be a legal requirement in most countries, it’s still a necessity for having a road-worthy vehicle that remains reliable whilst you’re out on the road.
How a Car Subscription or Flexible Lease Can Solve All of the Above
With a car subscription you don’t have to worry about maintenance costs. subscription contracts typically include maintenance cover as standard, even covering tires. Car subscription services tend to include 24-hour breakdown and roadside assistance cover in case anything goes wrong whilst you’re out on the road too.
Get and Keep Your Car Road Legal Today!
As you can see, these are all simple things to keep in mind, but they do have disastrous consequences if not attended to. These checks should be done semi-regularly to make sure you are safe and legal on the road.