Half of MOT failures avoidable with simple checksNeglecting car maintenance adds MOT test expense

27 January 2016

Nearly half of all MOT failures in 2015 could have been avoided had the vehicle owner carried out a number of basic visual checks beforehand, new data has revealed.

The latest government figures on MOT testing in Great Britain show that of the 27.7 million MOT tests carried out in 2015, 38% resulted in an initial fail. 

One in five of these cases were for simple lighting faults, such as blown headlamp bulbs, while a further 10% of failures were simply caused by tyres that were worn below the legal limit.

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Blown headlamps

To save drivers the hassle and expense of a re-test, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is urging motorists to undertake simple visual checks to give their car the best chance of passing the MOT.

You can avoid the most common MOT pitfalls by checking your headlamps, indicators and brake lamps all work and that they are not cracked or loose. Reversing your car up against a reflective surface such as a porch door or window can be an easy way to check rear lights when alone.

Ensure that the brakes operate correctly and that they don’t judder excessively or pull the car to one side – this could be a sign of excessively worn brake pads or warped brake discs.

Read our guide to MOT checks to find out how to ensure your car passes first time.

Minimum tread depth

All tyres must have at least 1.6mm of tread depth remaining to pass an MOT. A quick test is to stick a 20p piece in the tyre’s groove. If the outer band of the coin is obscured by the tyre, they’re within the legal limit.

8.5% of MOT failures are due to the driver’s view being obstructed, so get any windscreen chips repaired promptly to prevent them turning into large cracks and remove any large stickers or air fresheners.

DVSA chief executive Paul Satoor said: 'You shouldn’t wait for your MOT to check if your car needs maintenance. All drivers have a responsibility to make sure their vehicle is properly maintained and safe to drive at all times.

'Carrying out simple checks on items such as lights and tyres will help motorists to stay safe and legal, as well as saving time and money when their vehicle is due its MOT.'

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