From dirty number plates to quirky horns and even parking passes - these are the easily avoidable things that could cause your vehicle to fail its MOT.
Experts from LeaseVan.co.uk have researched and revealed some of the most minor causes of MOT failures – but most of them are preventable and could save drivers the hassle of having to put their vehicles through a re-test.
Some of the most common reasons for MOT failures include worn out brake pads, poorly aimed headlamps and tyre tread depth that falls below the 1.6mm limit – all which seem rational and fair.
However, there are some fails that may seem a little unreasonable, including badly placed car stickers and dirty number plates.
Other easily avoidable reasons for failing an MOT include empty windscreen washers and faulty fog lights.
The MOT inspection is legally required by the third anniversary of a vehicle’s registration and within a year thereafter.
An MOT can currently cost up to £54.85 for cars and most goods vehicles and £29.65 for standard motorcycles.
Motorists who get behind the wheel without a valid MOT certificate can be fined up to £1,000, unless they’re driving their vehicle to a test or repair centre.
Tim Alcock of LeaseVan.co.uk said: “Drivers confident in the condition of their vehicle could still be risking an MOT failure for seemingly minor and often overlooked reasons.
“It can be extremely costly to fail the safety inspection, with the relevant repairs and a re-test required before your car or van is certified road worthy for the forthcoming twelve months.
“Our specialists have revealed a dozen of the more uncommon things that stop vehicles from passing the test, to raise awareness and help motorists prepare.”
Here is the list of 12 avoidable MOT failures:
1. Unacceptable registrations
Number plates can lead to an MOT fail if they are the wrong colour, display an illegal font including size and spacing, are insecure, are in a poor condition or are dirty or otherwise unreadable.
2. Obstructive stickers
Windscreen stickers and attachments, including displayable residential or workplace parking passes, that are deemed to be obscuring the driver’s view of the road ahead in any way will prevent a vehicle from successfully obtaining its MOT certificate.
3. Poor tyre condition
UK law requires a tyre tread depth of at least 1.6mm for cars and vans. Anything less will be deemed unroadworthy, but it easy for drivers to monitor – insert a 20p into the groove and if the outer band disappears, it should be deep enough. Tyre pressure should be checked too.
4. Inoperable washers
Windscreen or headlamp washer jets that are blocked or have ran out of fluid will prevent vehicles from passing their MOT because they can’t operate to maintain a driver’s clear view.
5. Dodgy doors
Passengers must be able to open the rear doors from outside of the vehicle, so a broken or missing handle will mean a fail. A boot or bonnet that can’t be closed fully and securely, meanwhile, will prevent a vehicle from passing it’s MOT test.
6. Horrible horns
An MOT will be failed if the vehicle’s horn isn’t in good working order and suitable for the vehicle. It must be loud enough to be heard by other road users, but not deafening, and appropriately continuous or uniform. Gongs, bells, sirens, two-tone noises and anything harsh or grating are all banned.
7. Noisy exhausts
An nuisance exhaust, that’s judged to be unreasonably above the noise level expected from a similar vehicle with a standard silencer in an average condition, will mean an MOT fail.
8. Faulty fuel system
If there are any leaks at all in a vehicle’s fuel system, or it has a fuel cap that doesn’t fasten and seal securely, it won’t pass an MOT.
9. Lighting problems
Issues with vehicle lights are commonly found on official safety tests, but they should be easy to steer clear of as repairs and replacements are relatively inexpensive. Front, rear, fog, brake and indicator lights must all be correctly positioned and secured, displaying the right colour and unobscured.
10. Fixed mirrors
Rear-view mirrors that aren’t appropriately adjustable and in an acceptable condition cause MOT failure by affecting the driver’s view of the road.
11. Dodgy wipers
Windscreen wipers can cause MOT fails if they operate incorrectly, are in the wrong position, are in a poor condition or are the wrong size for the vehicle they’re fitted to.
12. Fixed seats
The driver’s seat must be appropriately adjustable for a vehicle to be granted it’s required safety certificate.