Common reasons why your car fails its MOT – save money on re-tests with our tips

The Driver Vehicles and Standards Agency’s (DVSA) figures, for MOT tests taken in 2014-15, revealed that some easy to spot faults were often the common cause of failing an MOT. So if you take five minutes to check your car you could save yourself on the cost of a re-test.

Common MOT failure points (class 3 and 4 vehicles only)

  • 18.4% of tests failed due to lighting and signalling faults
  • 6.6% of tests failed because of windscreen wiper faults and issues with the ‘drivers view of the road’
  • 7.4 of tests failed due to issues with tyres
  • 9.6% of tests failed because of brake issues

All of the above issues can be easily identified if you take a few minutes to pre check them.

How to check

Checking the lights on your car is a two minute job with a visual check – you may need an extra pair of eyes to check your brake lights so ask a friend to help.

As long as the wipers work properly and nothing is obstructing your view this is also easy to check. A video tutorial on how to replace the blades is on the RAC website.

To check the tread on your tyres all you need is a 20p coin. Place it in the tyre groove and see if the inner rim of the coin is visible. If you can see it then your tyre tread is worn and you’ll need a new tyre. You can also check for sidewall bulges by running your hand along the side of the tyre.

If the brakes are squealing, making a grinding noise, not stopping properly or pulling to one side then you should visit a garage.

car mot

via Giphy.com

Getting charged for a MOT retest

You shouldn’t be charged a re-test fee if you have the repairs done, at the same garage, before the end of the next working day. This only applies for certain faults and defects. The full list is on the gov.uk website.

If you take the car away to get repairs done, then bring it back to get re-tested, you may be charged a partial re-test fee. This may be the case if, for instance, you can source cheaper tyres than the garage from elsewhere.

As it stands the maximum you can be charged for a partial re-test is half the cost of the original MOT.

Remember the busy MOT periods

The number of MOT tests increase during March and September – as this is when new cars are first registered. So it’s worth remembering that your local garage could be busy during these periods. Make sure you book early enough to also preserve the anniversary of your MOT.

What else is likely to make your car fail an MOT

Thanks to speed bumps and other things more and more cars are now having increasing issues with suspension. Nearly 20% of defects on an MOT test are linked to suspension issues. 12% of MOT test failures are solely down to suspension. This includes suspension coil spring failures. While there are ways you could check your suspension we would always recommend taking your car to a garage.

Checking a car’s MOT history

If you need to check the MOT history of your current car, or one you’re about to buy, visit the gov.uk site’s MOT checker. All you need is the registration and make of your car. This will tell you about previous MOT defects or issues that may cost money if they need to be repaired in the future.

If you’re looking to get more driving-based money saving tips then you can find these on the blog.