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Are You a Road Hazard? Make Sure Your Car is Roadworthy!

So why is it so important that your car is roadworthy? I mean, you know, apart from the obvious safety issues. Two other potential problems come to mind. The first is the legality of your ride. If the police pull you over and discover that your car isn’t roadworthy, then you can get at the very least, ticketed.

The other problem may not seem as serious because the police aren’t involved, but the financial consequences could turn out to be even more dire. Let’s say you get into an accident. Afterwards, your car is deemed to have been unroadworthy at the time of the accident. At that point, even if the problems with your car didn’t cause the accident, the insurance company is within their right to turn around and say that they won’t be able to compensate you. Pre-existing conditions and all that.

From a legal standpoint, as well as an insurance standpoint, driving in a car that isn’t roadworthy is a form of recklessness. Reckless driving isn’t exactly looked upon with kind eyes – y’know, being a crime and all that. Of course, you may not actually be aware that your car isn’t roadworthy. It’s not always as obvious as it sounds.


Looks good, but is it legal?

If you want to ensure that you avoid these sorts of sneaky problems, then you need to follow the steps in this guide.

Get your car checked by a professional. If you’re in the U.S., then every state has its own requirements set by various branches of the DMV. It’s best to go to a renowned garage and have them inspect the vehicle (and maybe give it some maintenance). In the U.K., it’s as simple as getting an MOT test. If your car fails, you’ll need repairs and another test. Thankfully, there are businesses out there that won’t charge you for that second test.

Check the identification. If you bought your car from anyone other than the manufacturer – and chances are you did – then you need to get this checked. There’s always a risk that the identification numbers in the car don’t add up. The engine and the chassis will both have identification numbers – and they need to match. If they don’t, the police may take it away temporarily.

Ensure the electrical system works perfectly. Electrical problems are the most common cause of “roadworthiness violations.” Giving this system a thorough check is pretty darn involved, especially when you consider just how much of your car depends on that system. The headlights, brake lights, dip lights, indicators, air conditioning, the window mechanisms, the battery… I could go on for a couple more paragraphs. I won’t, though. If there’s a single problem, get it fixed.

Inspect tread depth. So many people forget about the tyres. Sure, a lot of people remember to give it a firm kick or push to make sure it’s inflated properly. But not many people frequently get down and actually check the tread depth. It should be at least 1mm deep – if it isn’t, then some of the tyre has worn away, meaning your car won’t stop as effectively as it should. Undesirable, to say the least.

The eternal battle of the hair dressers car

Is the Mazda MX5 a hair dressers car? Is the Mercedes SLK a hair dressers car? Is the BMW Z4 a hair dressers car? What about the Audi TT, is that hair dressers car?

I only know one hair dresser who’s really into cars, and he drives a Porsche 911. So technically, that IS a hair dressers car, because it’s actually owned by a hair dresser…

But where did this stupid idea come from? Urban Dictionary suggests:

Hair Dressers Car – A small ‘sports car’, featuring an underpowered engine. Predominantly owned by girls & ‘metro’ boys. Has more show than go.

So we’re getting somewhere with the definition, but why the Z4, TT, MX5 and SLK are still getting labelled like this is staggering. Have you seen the Vauxhall Adam? 16 inch wheels, low suspension and a gutless little motor? What about all these ‘Special Edition Vauxhall Corsas that are rolling on 17 inch wheels, wider arches and sports springs yet still badged as a 1.2?

If the MX5, a rear-engined, perfectly balanced sports car that can hit 140mph with the roof down is going to get more stick than a sheep-in-wolfs-clothing-can’t-outrun-your-nan-in-her-1.6-Honda-Jazz then something has to change in the way the general public colloquialise car categorisation… more on this coming up!

Two hair dressers cars

Two hair dressers cars