NORTH Yorkshire Police is urging drivers to check vehicles are roadworthy by revealing the five most common vehicle faults they see.

It comes as thousands of vehicles that had their MOT suspended for six months in April, due to the coronavirus pandemic, are almost due an MOT test.

“It’s vital that drivers are checking and maintaining their vehicles properly,” said Roads Policing Inspector Rich Champion.

“We’re not here to catch people out – we want to ensure people stay safe – so I’m revealing the five most common defects we see.

“These are some of the pitfalls we encounter time and time again - but the good news is they’re easy to avoid.”

Here are the five most common vehicle faults, according to roads policing officers in North Yorkshire:

1) Worn tyres

Insp Champion said: “A car or light van should have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm in a continuous band around the central three-quarters of the tyre. For motorbikes it is 1mm.

“To test this, you can buy a tyre gauge, or you can visually check the wear indicators on your tyre.

“If they are flush with the tread, it’s time for a change. If you do not feel confident checking this yourself, many garages do it for free.

“We encounter worn tyres frequently, but ignorance is not an excuse.”


2) Blown or defective lights

“This one’s pretty simple,” explained Insp Champion.

“Check headlights (all beams), taillights, indicators and get someone to apply the brake pedal while you check brake lights.

“We also see loads of problems with lights on trailers and caravans – the connections can sometimes be faulty, or bulbs blow after being unused for long periods, so you must check all your lights before towing.”


3) Lack of valid insurance, tax or MOT

Insp Champion said: “Remember that if your MOT was suspended in early April due to Covid, it’ll be due in the next few weeks. There is no further extension and if you have no MOT, your insurance will also be invalid.

“If you’re ever in any doubt about whether you are covered by an insurance policy, always check the terms with the insurer directly.”

“The cost of getting their vehicle seized far outweighs what it would cost them to get proper insurance - we can check this instantly.”


4) Aftermarket modifications

“Many aftermarket modifications don’t cause drivers any problems, as long as they’re declared on

“The most common illegal modifications we see are number plates that have the wrong font, spacing, size or colour; tinted windows that are so dark they’re not road legal; and sports exhausts that aren’t approved for road use,” said Insp Champion.

“We do check these things – they may look cool when you fit them, but you certainly won’t when you’re standing at the side of the road getting a ticket from a police officer.”


5) Overladen vehicles

Insp Champion said: “Many drivers never stop to consider the weight they add to a vehicle or trailer when loading it up.

You need to check that the load you are adding does not exceed the load that the vehicle and trailer can legally carry – look for a plate or sticker that has these numbers on them or check your users’ manual.

“You also need to check your licence allows you to tow that amount of weight or drive a specific weight of vehicle. The rules differ depending on when you passed your driving test.”

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