LeasePlan urges drivers to carry out simple checks

LeasePlan UK has reacted to the RAC’s 2016 Report on Motoring that revealed car maintenance was the second biggest concern for motorists.

Jennifer Gradden, fleet risk management account director at LeasePlan UK, part of the world’s largest vehicle management group, comments, “There is a worrying level of motorists in the UK who are baffled by car maintenance. It’s hugely important to maintain the upkeep of a vehicle, not only to conserve its value and improve fuel economy, but also because poor maintenance can be dangerous and potentially cause an accident.

“In many cases, vehicle faults can be identified by a simple walk-around check or by the driver noticing a difference in the handling of the vehicle”.

According to the report from the RAC, the cost of car maintenance bills was deemed to have suffered the second biggest rise (following insurance costs, 46 per cent) in the last year, with 41 per cent of motorists saying they had experienced increased maintenance costs.

Gradden comments, “Cars have become more complex, so it’s increasingly important for drivers to know whether a warning light requires immediate attention or not. If a warning light comes on, you should stop as soon as possible in a safe place. Many warning lights are specific to a vehicle’s make and model and your vehicle’s handbook should give you a detailed explanation of what they mean and what action to take.

“We offer vehicle maintenance as part of our customer contracts at LeasePlan, including servicing, MoTs and repairs, but there are also some very simple checks all drivers can do to ensure year-round safety and fuel economy.

LeasePlan’s six simple DIY car maintenance checks:

  • Check your tyre pressures against the recommended figure in the owner’s manual and ensure your tyre treads aren’t under the legal limit for tread depth in the UK which is 1.6mm. You can check this by sticking a 20p coin into the tyre’s main groove. If the outer band of the coin is covered by the tread, it’s legal;
  • Remove any unnecessary weight in your car. Take any items out of your car that you don’t use on a daily basis. Not only will clearing out your car keep it clean, but it will also help save on fuel;
  • Regularly check the level of your car’s fluids, including windscreen wash – to ensure you have a constantly good view whilst driving – and coolant. It’s also essential to monitor your car’s oil and brake levels every couple of weeks to help prolong the life of the engine and improve fuel economy. Ensure you do this on flat ground when the engine is cool and the car is not running;
  • Replace your windscreen wiper blades when you notice a difference in driving visibility – this could be every six months to a year – and check for cracks or chips in the screen itself;
  • Ensure all internal and external warning lights are in full, working order. A friend or colleague can help you check your vehicle’s rear lights;
  • Double check that all seat belts work to ensure all passengers are safe when travelling.

“Whilst this is not an exhaustive list of maintenance checks, they are all simple points that could help prevent an accident and improve the efficiency of your vehicle.”


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