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Common MOT Test Failures

Common MOT Test Failures
MOT Failure, MOT Test, MOT Tips
An MOT test failure can often be avoided. Check out our handy guide that will help your vehicle pass with flying colours.
The annual MOT test strikes as much fear into motorists as a check up with dentist. DVSA figures reveal that 40% of cars fail the first MOT attempt so maybe this fear is understandable. We're here to ease your worries and get you sailing through your MOT as we highlight some of the most popular fails and how you can overcome these ahead of your test. After all, of the 40% of first time fails almost half of the faults leading to failure could be avoided. As the old saying goes "fail to prepare, prepare to fail".


One in ten MOT fails are a direct result of poorly maintained tyres. Incorrectly inflated tyres, tyre wear or damaged tyres are easy to spot to the trained eye and will lead to an immediate fail. To ensure you don't get caught check your tyres for damage such as gouges, tears or bulges in the tyre wall as well as excessive wear. Remember, your tyre tread depth must be no less than 1.6mm across the middle 3/4 of the tyre.


Another of the most common reasons for an MOT failure is bulbs that fail to work correctly. Get a friend to walk around your car as you operate your dash controls to test for faults. If a bulb isn't working correctly get it replaced ahead of time to save you paying over the odds for the garage to do it.

Visual Obstructions

Remember that all MOT testers are human (even if they don't look it!). If you catch your MOT tester in a bad mood or having a rough day you will increase the likelihood of having your vehicle fail for what may seem a trivial issue. Don't let something silly like having a visual obstruction lead to a re-test. Remove all obstructions from the front and rear such as SAT-NAVs or items on the parcel shelf as well as air fresheners and dangling items hanging from your rear view mirror.

Windscreen Wipers and Washers

Front and rear wipers are inexpensive replacement parts but are frequently at fault for MOT fails. Check them for any wear and ensure that the wiper is still fully attached. If you are unsure err on the side of caution and get them replaced before the test is scheduled. Ensure your washers operate correctly and are free from blockages. For peace of mind top your washer fluid levels up as inadequate levels for testing will lead to a fail.

Windscreen Glass

Inspect your windscreen for any chips or cracks, especially in areas around the driver side. Any issues further out toward the edge of the screen are less likely to warrant a fail but of course this is at the discretion of the MOT tester.


Don't be a dipstick and have your car fail its MOT for lack of oil. Ensure you have the required amount of oil to undertake the test.

Dirty Car

It'd be foolish to expect that your car will remain in showroom condition when it is used daily. However, taking the time to clean your car inside and out will not only make the tester's job easier but will also increase the likelihood of achieving an MOT pass. You wouldn't turn up to job interview looking a mess so neither should your car. Check this out for a handy, quick and simple cleaning guide.

Number Plates

Remove any dirt or debris from your front and rear number plates and inspect them for cracks or damage. Number plates are relatively cheap and simple to replace yet are a common reason for MOT fails, especially in cars under 3 years old.
Now you've been given a heads up of the most common MOT test failures there's no excuse for being pulled up for any of these. If your car does fail its MOT it is due to a mechanical issue that only a trained professional would be able to detect. Don't despair, after all this is what an MOT test is for!
Sourcing affordable parts isn't easy and this is where we can help! If your car has failed its MOT and requires replacement parts to pass visit our online store to shop a wide range of quality used parts for any make or model. Not only will you save money buying used but your mechanic will find them easy to fit as every part is genuine.

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