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How to take care of your car as a first time driver

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Being a first time driver there is a lot to learn, check out this helpful guide for tips on how to take care of your car.

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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

Does my car need an MOT?

If you're fortunate enough to own a new car, you aren't required to put your car in for an MOT test for the first three years. After that, UK law says you need to have a valid MOT certificate, and a test carried out once a year. Basically, the MOT declares that your car is roadworthy, and before issuing you with a certificate, your car will be checked by a qualified MOT tester.

So what gets checked?

Key areas that are inspected include tyres, exhaust system, emissions, steering, windscreen, windscreen wipers, brake efficiency, lights, seatbelts, 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 MOT is required by law, car safety doesn't begin and end there. For a complete list of what's checked, visit our guide to what's included in an MOT.

Regular inspection

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 1.6mm, however it is recommended to change your tyres when the tread depth is at 2mm and the majority of tyre manufacturers would advise changing tyres when the tread depth reaches 3mm.

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.

To make sure you don't miss out on your MOT, sign up to our free MOT reminder.

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