By: 11 April 2024
Bald tyres and worn-out components: experts stress impact on motor premiums

Neglecting the upkeep of your vehicle not only jeopardises your safety on the road but also carries financial implications that could hit you hard in the long run. From invalidated insurance policies to hefty fines, the consequences of driving a car in poor condition can significantly impact your motor premiums.

Connor Campbell, an expert at Independent Advisor Car Insurance, underscores the importance of regular maintenance in ensuring both road safety and financial security. He highlights that failing to address issues such as bald tyres or worn-out components can not only result in fines but also lead to insurance invalidation in the event of an accident.

“Not only could you put yourself at risk of an accident by not properly maintaining your car, but you could also be slapped with police fines of up to £2,500 for driving a car in dangerous condition – as well as having your insurance invalidated. The risk is even greater if your tyres are in poor condition: you can receive an individual fine for each one, potentially amounting to up to £10,000.”


Body damage can invalidate your insurance

The top three reasons for MOT test failures in 2023—body condition, tyre tread depth, and coil spring integrity—underscore the significance of proactive maintenance. With body condition accounting for 8% of failures, it’s evident that neglecting seemingly minor damages can have major repercussions. While minor dents may not pose immediate risks, excessive corrosion or sharp damage can render a vehicle non-roadworthy, potentially invalidating insurance coverage.


Tyre tread can affect your motor premiums

Tyre tread depth accounted for 5.2% of failures. While the legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm, maintaining a higher threshold is advisable for optimal safety. Campbell emphasises the importance of regularly monitoring tyre condition, especially for older tyres, to ensure compliance with legal standards and minimise the risk of accidents.

“As long as your tyres are above this threshold, your car is legally roadworthy. However, it is advisable to carefully monitor your tyres or have them professionally inspected if they’ve been fitted for 5 years or longer. Stopping distances can also increase dramatically when tread depth is below 3mm. While replacing your tyres once this falls below 2mm can keep you in line with the law, monitoring and changing them earlier  will make driving far safer.”


Maintenance is needed to avoid coil spring failures

Coil spring failures, comprising 4.4% of MOT test failures, further highlight the importance of comprehensive maintenance checks. Whether due to corrosion or imbalanced wheels, neglecting such issues can compromise vehicle stability and increase the likelihood of accidents.

To ensure your vehicle remains roadworthy and insurance-compliant, Campbell recommends regular checks encompassing tyre tread depth, pressure, overall condition, lights, fluid levels, and wiper blades. By staying proactive and addressing maintenance issues promptly, drivers can not only avoid fines and insurance complications but also enhance road safety for themselves and others.


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Emma Cockings
Emma is a content editor for Claims Media. Emma is a experienced writer with a background in client-centric personal injury for a major firm. She has attended and reported on multiple brokerage events throughout her career.