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What Car reveals 5 amazing reasons why cars fail the MOT test

According to recent research released by What Car?, motorists are not only shooting themselves in the foot by making simple errors that cause their cars to fail the MOT test first time, but costing themselves nearly half a million pounds in the process.

Amazing figures in the What Car? Research shows that nearly 4% of the 285,236 MOT test failures during the period from August 2012 to August 2013 were on cars having their first test and so could have been easily avoided.

Although the most common reasons for MOT failure are the expected tyre tread depth being below the 1.6mm limit, and brake pads being worn down to less than 1.5mm thick, there were small things that build up on a list that can be avoided.

These small things lead to a FAILURE, and with the average MOT test price being around £45, the 10,753 cars that failed their first test amounts to an estimated £483,885 wasted by UK motorists.

So, what are these small items that can be corrected prior to wasting time and money? BE WARNED: these are REAL reasons why a car can fail an MOT test and not just examiners being picky!

Firstly, a car can be failed if the screenwash is not topped up – because it is an offence to drive without it. And topping up screenwash isn’t exactly rocket science, is it? The car manufacturers even make it easy, generally, by using a little symbol on top of where it goes. (4,649 cars failed with this)

Then there is failure by ‘clutter’. A car can actually be failed if it is exceptionally dirty or untidy inside, so just clear any mess out from the boot or on the floor inside, and give the windows and mirrors a quick wipe before you take it into the test centre. (2,852 cars failed with this)

A registration plate is an integral part of the car, and it needs to be read correctly. So if you have letters obscured or missing, if you have a personalised number plate that doesn’t adhere to DVLA rules, or if you don’t have a number plate at all – GET IT SORTED! (1,398 cars didn’t – and failed)

1,055 cars failed their MOT Test by having stickers on a windscreen that blocker a driver’s view. These include tax discs and driving permits, so watch out for this.

And finally, in the top five, 799 failed the test because, when the engine was turned on, a warning light came on. No matter what it is – from tyre pressure and air bag to oil – it is an offence not to take notice of it, let alone an MOT failure.

Consumer editor from What Car?, Emma Butcher, said: “There are some really simple things that every motorist can do to help a three-year-old car pass its first MOT test, but it’s amazing how many people don’t do them. Many people probably don’t even realise that MOT testers can refuse to test your car if it’s too dirty or full of clutter.

“However, most know there are rules about having a standardised registration plate and yet we found 29 people whose car failed because their numberplate was the wrong colour, and 114 who presented their car without a number plate at all.”