Back on the SCHOOL RUN?
BACK ON THE SCHOOL RUN? Whatever your essential journey, make it SAFE
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It's safe to say that the majority of UK motorists have not been driving as often during the recent national lockdowns. Inline with UK Government advice, most of us have only used our cars for essential journeys.

Vehicles that are not used regularly can experience problems with key safety features like tyres and lights. Extended non use of a vehicle can also lead to issues like faulty bulbs not being identified. As life slowly starts to return to normal, it's important to ensure that your vehicle hasn't developed any faults during this extended period of inactivity.

All motorists are responsible for making sure their vehicle is always road-worthy and safe to drive. Don't just assume that it's safe to drive because it has a valid MOT - it can be unsafe even if you have a current MOT certificate. For added peace of mind, get your vehicle professionally checked with a service.

To help your family stay safe on the road, below you'll find some useful guidance to check that your vehicle is in a roadworthy condition for the school-run...
Don't trust the safety of your family to part-worn tyres - you could regret it! Click on the TyreSafe logo to discover why.
To stay SAFE as you return to the road, we offer the following general advice...
If you need to start driving more regularly, whatever your essential journey, make it SAFE

S  -  Service or health check if needed
A  -  Air in tyres
F  -  Fill up screenwash
E  -  Examine lights and tyre tread
  • For added peace of mind, get your vehicle professionally checked with a service or a health check. If you want to go back to your original pre exemption MOT date, consider getting an early MOT.
  • Your garage can check the things you can’t see. For example, brakes need to work properly and are fundamental to your safety when driving a vehicle. You can test the brake pedal each time you drive the car.
  • If the brakes feel different or make a continued noise, or if the vehicle pulls to one side, contact us as soon as possible to get it rectified.
  • If the warning lights on the dashboard come on, get the vehicle professionally checked as soon as possible - ignoring warning lights could be a costly mistake!
The condition of your tyres is vital for maximum safety, braking, grip and good tyre life.
Here's a few useful pointers to keep you and your family safe...
Air in tyres
  • Tyres need to be correctly inflated, without any cuts or bulges. Correctly inflated tyres reduce the risk of accidents, will last longer and will save you money on fuel.
  • Tyres can lose air and deteriorate when they are stationary for a long period.
  • Your car manual will tell you the right pressure for your tyres. Most petrol stations and garages will have a pressure gauge and air pump, so check when you fill up. At the same time look out for bulges and cuts.
  • Remember to check your advisories. If a tyre was close to the minimum tread before the lockdown, now might be a good time replace the tyre.
Tyre Tread
  • The legal tyre tread depth for cars is 1.6mm and the condition of your tyres is key to your safety. This is especially important when roads are wet and icy.
  • Turn the steering wheel fully to the left or right. Look for the treadwear indicators which are at the bottom of the tyre grooves. If they are flush with the level of the tread, you need to replace the tyre.
  • Another good rule of thumb is the 20p test. Insert a 20p coin into the groove on the tyre. If the tread covers the outer band of the coin the tyre depth is legal. Check the tread depth is even across the tyre.
Need to drive for an essential journey?
Don't forget these essential checks to keep you and your family safe...
  • Since you last used the vehicle, a car bulb could have blown. Turn on all the lights and walk around the car. Give them a tap to check they’re not loose or damaged and check the colours are correct and match. Your car manual will explain how to change a bulb, or your garage can do this.
  • You can test brake lights by reversing up to a garage door or window and pressing the brake. Look for a reflection in the rearview mirror.
  • You need to check fluid is topped up and the windscreen wipers work, without streaking water. When the engine is cold, lift the bonnet , check the windscreen washer bottle and top up if necessary.
  • Using washer fluid rather than water will help to clean the windscreen and prevent the washers freezing in winter.
As a proud AutoCare member, we are committed to following the AutoCare charter which meets the Trading Standards approved code of practice.