Warning over thousands of ‘dangerous’ cars during festive period

Tens of thousands of dangerous cars will be driven on Britain’s roads in the run-up to Christmas, new figures suggest.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) said more than 380,000 cars that had their MOT test late in December 2018 and were therefore driven illegally.

Nearly 50,000 of those cars failed the test due to a dangerous defect such as bald tyres or broken headlights.

An RAC survey suggests 31.2 million leisure trips will be made by car in the UK between Tuesday and Christmas Eve.

The DVSA is urging drivers to check the tread and pressure of their tyres, lights, brakes and windscreen washer fluid levels – as well as making sure their car has an up-to-date MOT – before embarking on a festive journey.

DVSA head of MOT policy Chris Price said: “It’s easy to forget your car’s MOT amid the hustle and bustle and seasonal cheer, but making sure your car is safe before you set off is crucial.

“Carrying out five simple checks and making sure your car has a valid MOT will help you and your family have a happy Christmas and will help us keep everyone safe on Britain’s roads.”

Separate Department for Transport figures show 39 people were killed and a further 378 were seriously injured in accidents on Britain’s roads last year where a vehicle defect was a contributory factor.

A number of vehicle parts are checked during MOTs to ensure they meet legal standards, such as lights, seatbelts, tyres and brakes.

Motorists can be fined up to £1,000 for driving a vehicle without a valid MOT in Britain.

Vehicles must undergo the test on the third anniversary of their registration and every 12 months if it is more than three years old.

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