The most common reasons for MOT failure and how to avoid them

Dec 1, 2022

Even the most self-assured and confident drivers may have anxiety when it comes time for their yearly MOT since no matter how excellent of a driver you are, there is no assurance that your vehicle is in similarly good form.

In fact, according to official figures from 2015–2016, more than 36% of vehicles failed their MOT on the very first attempt, which is equal to approximately 7.8 million tests.

The majority of the issues that led to the failures are straightforward to fix, and they could have been readily addressed in advance of the test. In this article, we will discuss the reasons for MOT failure and how to avoid them before it’s too late.

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Lights and Signals

One in five cars that did not pass their MOT had a problem with either their lights or their signals. It’s possible that you don’t pay much attention to the headlight that’s flickering or the number plate light that’s burned out, but your examination will show the flaws.

The most typical cause is a burned-out light bulb, which the majority of people who own cars do not feel the need to replace right away.

It is recommended that you inspect all of the lights on your vehicle, including the front, and rear, indicators, brake lights, and fog lights on both the front and back, prior to the time that your MOT is scheduled to take place.

In the event that your lenses have gotten cloudy and have a coating of dirt on them, it is in your best interest to get out your cleaning supplies and wash them.


Although you may only associate suspension with its ability to absorb shock and provide smooth braking, it really does a great deal more than that. Your suspension system is responsible for the friction and for keeping your tires planted on the ground, both of which are essential to your safety!

 Any problem that develops in this component might result in a failed MOT inspection. You are able to recognise the early warning indicators, such as how your vehicle responds when there is a bump or a quick curve.


The importance of the brakes to a vehicle is something that is well known to everybody. It is vital to pay attention to the squeaks and screeches coming from your vehicle in order to determine whether or not there is a problem with the brakes. These symptoms indicate that your brake pads need to be replaced.


Examine the state of the tyres and their pressure before the MOT! Make sure that they are in accordance with the guidelines provided by the manufacturer. Keeping an eye on the pressure at regular intervals is another smart technique that should be followed.

Examine the tyres carefully, looking for any lumps, bumps, or cracks in the tread or sidewalls. In addition to this, you need to inspect the tread depth and make certain that it is at least 3 millimetres deep in accordance with the MOT recommendation tyre tread depth.

Driver’s Field of Vision

There is no question that the visibility of the driver is one of the most important factors in a conducting a safe journey.

It’s possible that your vehicle won’t pass its MOT if the windscreen is broken or chipped, or if anything like an air freshener or a phone holder is blocking your line of sight. Check to see whether the windscreen wipers are functioning properly, and make sure the washer fluid is at the appropriate level.

Take Away

There is no need to necessarily freak out over a failed MOT. The garage where you took it will provide you a VT30 “Refusal of an MOT test certificate.” This certificate will include information on your vehicle as well as the reasons why it did not pass.

After you have fixed the issues, you will then be required to retake the exam and produce this certificate to the invigilator.