It doesn't matter if you're on a long, cross country trip, or just heading down the road to run your Saturday morning errands, no one wants to be in a position where they find out too late that their vehicle isn't roadworthy and they face a significant bill for mechanical repairs. Part of good car maintenance is regularly testing, repairing and looking after your car to avoid these nasty surprises and make sure your car is in good condition. By preparing early and fixing any errors as soon as they appear, you can head off significant damage further down the line.
Get your certificate
Most states and territories here in Australia will require you to have a licence or certificate to show that your car has been deemed roadworthy by a qualified professional. Most mechanical repairs garages are set up to offer this service. They will run a series of tests, often aided by advanced computer software, across your entire vehicle to find any dangerous faults.
If they do identify serious issues, you will have to get these fixed before you can get your roadworthy certificate. If you car successfully passes the test, meaning it meets basic requirements in all areas, the garage will provide you with a certificate. Be sure to note that just because your car meets this roadworthy level it doesn't mean everything is up to scratch, just that the car is not a danger to others when it is driven on the road.
Watch out for warning signs
With today's high-tech vehicles, cars are more equipped than ever to give you plenty of warning before something goes seriously wrong that prevents your car from being roadworthy. You should never ignore the warning signs and messages your car gives you, even though they may be annoying! They are telling you that something has gone wrong, and it needs to be fixed as soon as possible. While it takes both time and money to get mechanical repairs done, the costs are even higher if you allow them to escalate and your car stops being roadworthy.
Know when to repair and when to replace
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try and how much care you take, an old car just stops being roadworthy. Instead of spending huge amounts of money regularly bringing it back up to a suitable level, you need to stop and think whether all the mechanical repairs are worth it, or if it would be best for all involved to swap your old car for a new one. Newer cars will always be delivered in a roadworthy states, and you'll get a fresh new guarantee which means the cost of those expensive mechanical repairs is rapidly reduced.