Wednesday, May 22Serving the aftermarket

Many MOT failures could be avoided by simple checks

As many as one third of the UK’s MoT failures could be avoided if drivers made the simplest and most basic checks to their car, according to Government figures obtained by consumer champion

The motoring website analysed millions of MoT records from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and found that, out of the 7.3 million MoT failures that were recorded in 2017, 2.5 million could have been avoided* if drivers had checked their lights, brakes, tyres, suspension and windscreen before the test.

The number one cause of MoT failure in the UK is incorrect headlamp aim, with 976,569 failures. In second place is poor brake performance (921,534 failures) while broken registration plate lamps account for 912,246 failures. Faulty side lights and insufficient tyre tread complete the top five, while thousands more cars fail due to worn out windscreen wipers and missing screen wash.

The news coincides with the publication of the latest MoT Files, which means motorists are now able to spot cars’ common failures by make, model, year of registration and post code based on empirical data.

The MoT Files is the most detailed analysis of Government MoT data in the UK, covering every post code in England, Scotland and Wales. The data is obtained from the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) through the Government’s OpenData scheme and based on millions of MoT tests that take place up and down the country by qualified technicians.

The research also reveals the makes and models of cars that are most likely to pass the MoT, along with the areas in the UK with the best and worst MoT pass rates.

Daniel Powell, Managing Editor of said: “Britain’s roads are among the safest in Europe, but some drivers are putting themselves and others at risk by failing to perform even the most basic of car maintenance tasks.

“We all know how annoying and dangerous badly-adjusted headlamps can be, yet in 2017 more than 970,000 cars failed the MoT because of this serious but easily remedied problem.

“The MoT Files shows that the majority of failure items are down to the owner, rather than an inherent fault with the car. Drivers can now use this information to ensure their car is not failing on something that can be easily and cheaply fixed beforehand.”

Top 10 MoT fails

1) Incorrect headlamp aim

2) Poor brake performance

3) Broken registration plate lamp

4) Defective side lights

5) Insufficient tyre tread depth

6) Worn out windscreen wipers

7) Faulty brake lights

8) Broken or corroded coil springs

9) Headlight(s) not working

10) Missing windscreen washer fluid