Vehicle Checks First-Time Drivers Should Be Aware Of

Passing your driving test is an unbelievable feeling and the start of a new chapter in your life. Although it is exciting, many new drivers find that there is still a lot to learn about owning a car. There are a few car checks that every new driver needs to learn about so that they can pick up on any small issues before they become major problems and ensure the roadworthiness of the vehicle. New motorists look for used cars for sale, which are more susceptible to issues, so these checks are particularly important if you have a second-hand car.

Tyre Pressure & Tread Depth

The car tyres need to be carefully monitored as they can impact the safety, performance and efficiency of the vehicle. You need to check the tyre pressure on a regular basis and top up if it falls below the recommended pressure (you can find this in the owner’s manual).

You also need to get into the habit of checking the tyre tread depth on a regular basis as the tread will wear down over time. The legal minimum is 1.6mm – if your tread depth is below this, you could get 3 points on your license and face a fine of £2,500 per tyre. You should generally have at least 3mm, especially in winter. You can complete this check with with the 20p test.

Engine Oil

The RAC check the engine oil level of every vehicle that they attend and find that as many as 1 in 3 are dangerously low. Low engine oil levels can cause significant engine damage, which could be costly and difficult to repair. Checking the level only takes a few seconds with the dipstick, so you need to get into the habit of doing this regularly and top up with the right type of fluid when required.


Following this, you also need to make sure that your coolant levels are always at a suitable level. Coolant plays a vital role in maintaining the engine temperature, so this can prevent the engine from freezing in winter or overheating in summer. The car handbook will tell you what coolant and mix to use if you need to top your levels up.


Finally, you should check your electrics regularly as there are many electrics that play a key role in performance and safety. These include your headlights, fog lights and indicators. Battery issues can be common, so you should have this tested if you have problems with your electrics.

These are a few of the main checks that every new driver needs to get into the habit of performing. This will help you to pick up any issues early, ensure the roadworthiness of your vehicle and give you peace of mind knowing that your car is in good condition.

Stewart Thurlow

Stewart Thurlow

I once shared a lift with Meryl Streep & Julianne Moore. Oh, & Victoria Beckham smiled at me. UK Editor for ADDICTED.
Stewart Thurlow
Stewart Thurlow

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