How to avoid failing your MOT
Getting an MOT is a fact of life for every car-owning road user in the UK – but a significant percentage of those road users do not make the grade. According to recent DVSA statistics, more than seven million cars fail their MOT each year – but what causes them to fail?
Why get an MOT?
First off, what exactly is an MOT? If your car has been off the showroom floor longer than three years, it is legally required to get an MOT. In short, an MOT is an annual check-up of your car, that is wide-ranging and comprehensive in nature.
During an MOT, a certified mechanic will examine your car with careful reference to a pre-defined rubric, looking at the condition and functionality of everything from your brakes to your dash lights. If a particular part, mechanism or element of your vehicle is not as it should be, it may be labelled a ‘defect’ in one of three severities: minor, major or dangerous.
One major or dangerous defect is enough to warrant an MOT fail, which takes your car off the road until fixed. As such, an MOT is a crucially important thing to sort for your vehicle, not just for the safe usage of your car but also for the safety of other road users. Having your car MOT’ed on an annual basis is a legal requirement for this precise reason.
Most common reasons for a failed MOT
Having an annual MOT may seem like the perfect opportunity to discover what is wrong with your vehicle, and take appropriate steps to address it. However, not catching a major or dangerous defect in advance of your MOT can result in more stress and additional costs – whether from towing to your favoured engineer, or from retaking your MOT after the necessary repairs are made.
With this in mind, and before you book your next MOT online, what are the more common forms of MOT fail you should look out for? The more common reasons for an MOT fail vary in scope and severity, with some seemingly unimportant issues exacting a heavy toll on your test.
For example, relatively recent updates to the test resulted in malfunctioning warning lights being an instant MOT fail – so if your dash is acting up, you may want to get it fixed before you MOT. By that same token, faulty or blown headlights and indicator lamps are a leading cause for MOT failure, despite being as simple and inexpensive to replace as a domestic lightbulb.
The legal implications of MOTs
A major fault in an MOT makes your car illegal for road use, unless you are driving it directly to a mechanic for repairs. Meanwhile, a dangerous defect means your car is not road legal under any circumstances, and must be fixed before use. If you are caught driving without an MOT certificate for your car, you could be liable for a £1000 fine and points on your license. Repeat offenders could be suspended from driving.