30% of mots are fails

In the UK this year almost 30% of all MOT tests resulted in a fail. So what is the most common reason for an MOT fail?

10 most common reasons for failure

1. Tyres – 1,101,839 Failures

The tread depth of your tyres must be a minimum of 1.6mm so you can avoid an MOT failure. A simple trick that will easily let you check before the test is to put a 20p coin into the treads. If you can not see the outer ring any more then you have a depth of 1.6mm. Keep in mind if it is on the edge you may want to change your tyres as they are no longer safe. 

2. Coil springs – 1,069,069 Failures

Think about every time you have encountered a bump on the road, sometimes they can be a bit rougher than expected. Now consider that most of the force you feel at this time is going directly into your coil springs. 

Britain has its fair share of bumpy roads and potholes, so it is fair to say your coil springs do take a bit of a knacking some times. However considering they are a huge factor in keeping the wheels on the car you want them working correctly.

bright headlights on a car capable of dazzling other drivers

3. Headlamp aim – 806,993 Failures

Headlamp aim refers to the positioning of your headlights. Why can you fail your MOT for this being misaligned? Well for starters it can reduce your visibility on the road, however it doesn’t just affect you. Furthermore with misaligned headlights you run the risk of becoming one of those people who annoyingly blind you when driving behind you.

4. Wipers – 778,244 Failures

A simple one but Windscreen wipers are the fourth most common reason for failing an MOT. If your wipers are no longer capable of clearing the windscreen they are not safe and you will have to change them. Thankfully this one shouldn’t be too expensive. 

5. Position lamps – 759,032 Failures

Position Lamps are lights on the side of your car that helps other road users see if you are stopping or parked. You should use them on dark roads with no street lights when you are stopped. 

a brake pad exposed for examination

6. Brake pads – 674,986 Failures

Everybody knows what brakes are (I truly hope). As you are aware they are incredibly important in regards to the safety of your vehicle. If they are under 3mm thick you will only be advised to change them, however if they fall below 1.5mm this is a reason you can fail your MOT. 

7. Pins and bushes – 632,061 Failures

In seventh place we have Pins and Bushes. These components are pads that are fitted to the suspension system and pins that act as the pivot for the steering system. Driving with word pins and buses can damage other components of your car and result in a loss of control.  

8. Ball joints – 620,900

The Ball Joints are important components that connect your wheel hubs to the control arms. Without them your ability to steer the car is compromised. 

9. Service brake performance – 615,329 Failures

In ninth place we have the braking system. Once again, brakes are very important for road safety. This is a general test on the braking capacity of the car in relation to its weight. 

10. Rigid brake pipes – 522, 429

Simply put Rigid Brake Pipes are used to transfer the braking fluid to the cylinder of the brake hoses, if they fail your brakes will be less effective or fail. Large numbers of these failures are due to corrosion.  

Which cars have the highest failure rates on MOT’s?

RankCar Make/ModelFailure Rate
1Honda Accord56.90%
2Peugeot 20640%
3Renault Clio37.20%
4Fiat Punto36.80%
5Peugeot 20736.50%
6Vauxhall Vectra36.10%
7Toyota Hilux35.30%
8Vauxhall Meriva34.30%
9Citroen DS333.90%
10Vauxhall Zafira33.20%

My car failed its MOT can I drive it?

If your expiration date has not yet passed and no dangerous defects have been detected you can drive your car. However, immediately after the expiration date, without a MOT certificate it is an offence to drive your car on the road and you risk a fine. Look here to find out more about driving without an MOT

If you are not sure whether you have a valid MOT feel free to use our MOT history check. 

You can check the mot testing data for Great Britain on the DVSA website.

Find out more about MOT’s

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