Your handbrake is a vital component of your vehicle, and yet many of us don’t think about it much until it goes wrong. The handbrake is checked as part of the MOT that needs to be carried out every year on vehicles over 3 years old. Although this is checked annually it can go wrong at any time and it is surprisingly easy to test yourself.

When pulling the handbrake up it shouldn’t come up more than about three clicks, if you are getting to six of seven clicks before it is on then it may need checking. Often the cable just needs adjusting as it can stretch over time.

If your handbrake fails and you are parked on a slight decline then the car can start to roll away. One way to avoid this is to leave the car in gear when parked. You should leave it in first to fifth  gear if parked on an incline and reverse if parked on a decline. Should your handbrake fail, the car will usually hold if the correct gear is selected. It is worth noting that you will need to ensure you put the gear stick back to neutral or press down the clutch when you come to start it.