Highway Code : Check your vehicle is safe to drive

Ian Biddle
Further reading
Highway Code

Check your vehicle is safe to drive

You’re responsible for making sure your vehicle is always safe to drive (‘roadworthy’). It can be unsafe even if you have a current MOT certificate. You can be fined up to £2,500, be banned from driving and get 3 penalty points for driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition

Checks you should carry out

Every time you drive 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 to check the:

engine oil

water level in the radiator or expansion tank

brake fluid level


windscreen and rear window washer bottles - top up with windscreen washer fluid if necessary

tyres - they must have the correct tread depth and be free of cuts and defects

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

Tyre tread

Tread must be a certain depth depending on the type of vehicle:
cars, light vans and light trailers - 1.6 millimetres (mm)
motorcycles, large vehicles and passenger-carrying vehicles - 1mm
Mopeds only need to have visible tread.
There must be tread across the middle three-quarters and around the entire tyre.