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British motorists have been urged to keep their vehicles in top shape to avoid unwanted penalties. Having certain parts of the car dirty can not only be dangerous – but also land drivers with a fine of up to £1,000.
Experts have now revealed that drivers should examine the state of their number plates and windscreens in order to keep safe on the road.
Jamie Louram, Halfords Car Cleaning Buyer, said: “Having an obscured number plate can land you in hot water, with fines of up to £1,000 if the letters and numbers can’t be seen.”
Mr Louram added: “You can also rack up a fine of £1,000 and even an MOT failure for incorrectly displaying your number plates, so double-check you’re following the requirements while you give your car a spruce.”
GEM Motoring Assist has previously warned plates cannot be covered by dirt as they must be readable at all times.
They said this was to ensure that registrations are legible to police officers at all times and can be seen by the automatic number plate reader.
Many Automatic Number Plate Recognition Cameras (ANPR) use plates to check whether the car has paid up-to-date tax.
However, if the registration plate is covered police officers will not be able to identify a vehicle, which can lead to drivers getting away with breaking the law.
Despite the risks, there are fears thousands of road users are oblivious to the rule and could be caught out.
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A survey carried out in 2021 by Car Parts 4 Less showed 24 percent of road users did not know driving without a number plate was an offence.
This was supported by another poll from Tyre Pros that found 23 percent were unaware of the rule surrounding dirty number plates.
A spokesperson for Tyre Pros said: “There are strict rules in the UK when it comes to displaying number plates on vehicles.
“Failing to follow these regulations can lead to a £1,000 fine and an MOT failure.”
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When it comes to windscreens, motorists are urged to check for any dirt or grime that could potentially affect the driver’s ability to operate their vehicle.
Mr Louram said: “Any kind of dirt or grime on the windscreen can be incredibly dangerous as it can impact your view of the road ahead.
“In some instances having a dirty windscreen could be seen as careless driving and land motorists with a fine of up to £100 and points on the license if an accident occurs as a result.”
The expert continued: ”Grime can build up on the windscreen over time, so give it a good wash to ensure visibility is at its optimum whilst out on the roads.”
A car windscreen does much more than act as protection from the wind and the rain – a clear and undamaged windscreen is vital for good vision, RAC experts added.
Even minor scratches and small chips can cause problems as they can make dazzle and glare from sunlight and other car headlights worse.
Damage to the car’s windscreen could result in an MOT failure. If there is damage of 40mm in size, anywhere on the windscreen, the vehicle will fail its MOT.
The crack will need to be fixed before being re-tested. However, even a 10mm-sized damage on a cracked windscreen results in MOT failure if it falls within what is known as windscreen Zone A.
This zone is the section of the windscreen that is 290mm wide and centred on the steering wheel – in other words, directly in the driver’s line of vision.
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