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Classic car owners face huge fine for simple maintenance oversight

The i logo The i 08/10/2018 Matt Allan
a bicycle is parked next to a car © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

Classic car owners could be leaving themselves open to huge fines by simply allowing their car to sit idle for long periods of time.

While classic vehicles are often pampered and used only occasionally, storing them away could be storing up trouble in the shape of degraded tyres.

The warning has come in tyre safety month as campaigners work to raise awareness of the dangers of poorly maintained tyres.

Leaving a vehicle standing for long periods of time or only taking it for occasional short runs could lead to the rubber in the tyres hardening and cracking or to problems with underinflation.

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Taking to the road with such worn out tyres could see classic owners given three penalty points and a £2,500 fine per tyre for driving on illegal or unsafe tyres.

The warning from ClassicLine insurance comes in the wake of government figures showing that illegal, defective or under inflated car tyres were a contributory factor in 384 reported accidents in 2017.

a close up of a car © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd As well as obvious signs of wear, little-used tyres can suffer unseen degradation. 

Ian Fray, managing director at ClassicLine Insurance, said: “The figures from the Department for Transport show that poor tyre maintenance is having a devastating impact on the UK’s roads.

“It’s important to remember that just because a tyre is not being used, doesn’t necessarily mean the tyre’s condition hasn’t deteriorated.

“Even if the vehicle hasn’t moved, it is still essential to give each tyre a thorough inspection to check its condition, whether it is a classic car or more modern vehicle.”

The caution also comes in the wake of new MOT rules which mean cars more than 40 years old do not need an annual MOT test, posing the risk that dangerous flaws may go unnoticed.

Fray added: “The cost of poor tyre maintenance can be high, both financially and personally. Some motorists might not know that tyres can degrade when not being used, so regular tyre checks are essential no matter if the vehicle is regularly driven or is in storage to be enjoyed in the future.”

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