Minor faults on your car are annoying, but they can’t be ignored, warns leasing provider UK Carline.
However, as tempting as it might be to avoid getting it fixed, it could end up costing you a lot more money in fines, not to mention potential points on your licence, if you don’t get it sorted.
So, what are these seemingly minor faults that could cost you a fortune? We’ve teamed up with UK Carline to share five faults you should look at getting repaired, rather than risk a hefty fine.
Worn tyres – up to a £10,000 fine
Drivers should check their tyres’ tread at least once a month in order to ensure they’re roadworthy and safe to drive on. If a tyre’s tread depth falls below the legal limit it can be extremely dangerous, putting you, as well as other drivers, at risk. Driving with illegal or bald tyres invalidates your insurance and you could also be fined up to £10,000 (£2,500 per tyre), as well as receiving 12 penalty points on your licence. New tyres can be fitted for under £50, so it’s worth keeping an eye on how your current ones are wearing regularly to ensure you don’t get caught out. Using a 20p coin is a great way of checking how your tyres measure up. If your tread depth is shallower than the outer edge of the coin, it’s a good sign that they’re below the legal limit of 1.6mm.
Broken wing mirrors – up to £2,500 fine
Damaged or broken wing/door mirrors seriously impact a driver’s ability to see what’s going on around them, which can put you and other motorists in danger. If the condition of your vehicle endangers another person, you could receive a large fine of up to £2,500, as well as three points on your licence. To get a mirror replaced costs around £150, or around £15 if you only need to replace the glass, so it’s definitely not worth the risk of a fine.
Cracked windscreen – £50 fine
As tempting as it can be to leave a small chip in your windscreen, it could soon turn into a big crack. If the crack is severe enough to obscure your view when driving, then this could result in a fixed penalty notice of £50, as your vehicle is classed as being in a dangerous or defective condition. You might be thinking £50 is worth the risk, but if you leave a chip in your windscreen and the condition deteriorates so much that it causes your car to fail its MOT, you could be left with the bigger problem of having to replace your entire windscreen, and even managing without your car for multiple days. There are many companies that offer reasonably priced windscreen chip repair, and it can often be reclaimed on your insurance, so it’s best to get it looked at.
Windscreen wipers – £50 fine
Sadly, windscreen wipers are essential for driving in Britain given the weather. If your windscreen wipers stop working and you don’t get them fixed, your view will be severely impacted should the heavens open – as they do all-too-often. Defective windscreen wipers can result in a fixed penalty notice of £50 if you’re caught, and with new wiper blades costing as little as £20, it’s a no brainer to fix this common issue. Faulty wipers will also result in an MOT failure.
Broken headlights – £60 fine
When driving in low or no light, headlights must be used if the visibility is 100 metres or less, and if you have broken headlights and drive in a low-lit area without getting them fixed, you could be putting yourself at serious risk. Refitting a headlight bulb often costs less than a tenner, so if you find yourself with this common issue, get it fixed as soon as possible. If your vehicle has a broken light you might be served with a fixed penalty notice of £60 or the police can stop you and issue a ‘vehicle defect rectification notice’. You’ll need to get your vehicle fixed and provide proof that it’s been fixed (eg a receipt for the work from a mechanic) within 14 days of the offence. You must also ensure brake lights, indicators, hazard warning lights and number plate lights are all in full working order.
“When it comes to the cost of a fine compared to the cost of a repair, sometimes £50 doesn’t seem like much money,” adds UK Carline’s Jonathan Nolan.
“However, motorists should be aware of how these problems can deteriorate and therefore negatively affect the resale value of your vehicle, or lead to damage recharges from your finance company.
“If your car does go back to the finance company at the end of your contract with any of the above problems then you will be charged to have them fixed.
“Therefore, it is best to maintain a vehicle as and when problems arise to avoid fines from the police, penalty points and charges from your finance company, and to maintain a good value for the vehicle.”