Highways England Traffic Officers demonstrates basic vehicle checks Image  Open Government Licence v3.0

Highways England’s advice for drivers using their vehicle for the first time in several weeks

If you are using your vehicle for the first time in several weeks – while following government advice – Highways England has an important message for you: check it!

You should still stay at home as much as possible. But if you are leaving home for one of the reasons the Government has given, remember that any vehicle which hasn’t been on the road for some time will need a thorough check to ensure it is roadworthy and safe.

Richard Leonard, Highways England head of Road Safety, said:

“We should only be leaving home for the reasons the Government has set out – and we want those journeys to be safe ones. If you haven’t driven for a few weeks you might feel a bit strange getting back behind the wheel, and your car will need a few simple checks, like your tyres, oil, water, lights and fuel.

“As our teams have been able to continue working, while following social distancing guidelines, the layout of some roads have slightly changed.

“Everything will not be the same as the last time you were on the road, so please ensure you and your vehicle are prepared.”

You should still stay at home as much as possible. The reasons you may leave home include:

  • For work, where you cannot work from home
  • Going to shops that are permitted to be open – to get things like food and medicine
  • To exercise or spend time outdoors
  • Any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid injury or illness, escape risk of harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person

Here is Highways England’s advice for drivers:

Check tyres

Prior to setting off on a long/significant journey, check your tyre pressures are suitable for the load and the condition of your tyres, including the spare. Look out for cuts or wear and make sure the tyres have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm, which is the legal limit.

Check engine oil

Use your dipstick to check oil regularly and before any long journey, and top up if needed. Take your car back to the garage if you’re topping up more than usual.

Check water

To ensure you have good visibility, always keep your screen wash topped up so you can clear debris or dirt off your windscreen.

Check lights

If your indicators, hazard lights, headlights, fog lights, reverse lights or brake lights are not functioning properly, you are putting yourself and your family at risk. In addition, light malfunctions can be a reason for your vehicle to fail its MoT.

Check fuel

Before setting out, check your fuel levels and make sure you have enough to get to your destination.

More tips, including ‘how to videos’, are available online.