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What makes a car roadworthy?

20th August 2021

It’s a legal requirement in the UK that your vehicle must undertake an annual MOT test (after the vehicle is 3 years old) – this is to assess that your car maintains a safe level of roadworthiness. So, what is ‘roadworthy’, and how can you ensure your vehicle is prepared for the road?

How roadworthy are you?

What does ‘roadworthy’ mean?

Defining what roadworthy actually means is the best place to start. This refers to when a vehicle is deemed as fit and appropriate to be used on the roads – ensuring that it is following specific performance and safety guidelines. Determining roadworthiness is conducted during a vehicle’s annual MOT test.

What makes a vehicle roadworthy?

The MOT test determines whether your vehicle is roadworthy or not – and looks to test a number of components to assess whether they are working correctly or effectively. Some of these include:

  • Hazard and fog lights
  • Front and rear lights
  • Indicators
  • Brakes and brake fluid level
  • Windscreen wipers and wiper fluid level
  • Car batteries
  • Engine oil level

Find out more about what is included in an MOT test from our MOT test guide.

However, it should be noted that although the MOT test will determine how roadworthy the car is (certifying it with either a Pass or Fail), this test cannot anticipate the roadworthiness of the vehicle for the whole duration of the MOT certificate. This means that although your car may have been deemed as roadworthy when the test was conducted, 10 months later, for example, the car may not be – so it’s important to keep on top of your car maintenance with regular servicing and checking your vehicle’s roadworthiness before every journey.

Gov.uk also have published an official checklist which details the driver responsibilities in maintaining roadworthiness. These include:

  • Lights
  • Tyres
  • Wheel fixings
  • Bodywork
  • Trailer coupling
  • Load and other equipment

Ensure your vehicle is roadworthy with Merityre

Unsure when your MOT is due? Find out from us today, and book in for your vehicle’s annual MOT test at one of your local branches. For more information on what makes a car roadworthy, get in touch with our dedicated experts.