Whether it’s your car’s first MOT or its 10th, almost all owners know the nervous feeling of waiting for the mechanic’s verdict. Every car over three years old needs to pass the test’s various checks once a year – and certain components are more likely to fail than others.
While the maximum MOT fee for a car is currently set at £54.85, servicing and major repairs can add up to much more. Even if you’re looking into personal leasing options rather than ownership, these are the kind of costs you’ll want to steer clear of if you can.
Read five common reasons for failed MOTs and get practical tips on how to avoid them below.
While this problem may sound relatively minor, broken or faulty lights are a common cause of MOT failure and can even lead to jailtime in the US. Thankfully the issue is usually a quick fix with a new lightbulb or two.
You can check yours are in working order by simply turning them on and walking around your car. Make sure to check the indicators, brake and fog lights too.
Driving on uneven or potholed roads is bound to take its toll on your suspension over time. This issue can be trickier to spot pre-MOT without serious mechanical knowhow, though you could get a professional service just beforehand instead.
Signs of damaged suspension include a bumpy ride, uneven tire wear and difficult steering.
It’s fair to say your brakes are a component you’ll want to look after. You could be putting your life in their hands on a regular basis, so it pays to check that they’re working as they should be.
Tell-tale signs of dodgy brakes are squeaks or screeches and the car pulling to the left or right when stopping.
Your tyres are another vital component and the only one that’s actually in contact with the road. They need to be inflated to the level recommended in your manufacturer’s handbook and the tread depth should be at or above the legal limit.
One easy way to check the tread depth of your tyres before an MOT is the 20p coin test.
Poor windscreen visibility
While your lights are important for making sure other drivers can see you, your windscreen should offer clear visibility of the road from inside the car. That means making sure its clear of clutter and free from dangerous cracks or chips at eye level.
Your windscreen washer should also be topped up and working as normal, while a working rear view mirror is a must.
Many drivers dread getting an MOT every year. Look out for these key components to give your vehicle the best chance of passing.