For first time drivers, the emphasis is usually on getting behind the wheel and enjoying the freedom and independence that having a car provides. One area that can get easily overlooked in all the excitement is how to take care of your car. Follow these simple tips and you can keep yourself and your car safer on the roads.
How to take care of your car as a first time driver
If you are fortunate enough to have a brand new car with 0 miles on it, then you will probably find it easy to manage it for the first few years. After a certain time, Law makes it obligatory for you to have it inspected by an approved vehicle testing facility so it can be verified that the car is roadworthy.
So what gets checked?
Key areas that are inspected include tyres, exhaust system, emissions, steering, windscreen, windscreen wipers, brake efficiency, lights, seat belts, mirrors, horn, driver’s view of the road, and more.
Any faults or defects will need to be fixed before the car is passed. Although the test is required by law, car safety doesn’t begin and end there.
You should familiarise yourself with your car manual, as this provides you with important information about tyre pressure, how things work, and where the spare tyre (if applicable) and tools are stored.
Before you set off anywhere, you should always check the condition of your tyres. Try and get into the habit of regularly checking their tread and replace any that are worn when required.
The law requires that your tread depth is at a minimum of 1.6 mm, however it is recommended to change your tyres when the tread depth is at 2 mm and the majority of tyre manufacturers would advise changing tyres when the tread depth reaches 3 mm.
You should also learn how to check the oil level, top up windscreen wash as required, and look for chips or cracks in the windscreen. You don’t have to become a mechanic to do any of this, and getting to know your car better can help keep running costs down and keep you safer on the road.