Think Insurance, UK, Walsall
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What Are the Most Common Causes of an Mot Failure?

Make sure your car doesn't fail its MOT

According to the Government, nearly half of all faults found in MOTs could be avoided, after testing data shows almost 40% of cars fail at the first attempt!

What Does An MOT Check?

An MOT test, which is short for Ministry of Transport, tests your car and its parts to make sure it meets the legal standards, however it doesn’t cover the engine, clutch or gearbox.


This is the biggest cause of MOT failure in the UK, with 30% of all faults due to lighting and signalling. A light tap should tell you whether they are damaged or loose, and you also need to make sure the colours are right and match. If you do replace the bulbs, it’s usually a fairly straightforward process for most vehicles, and instructions can be found in the handbook for your car. If you’re not confident enough in your car maintenance skills to change the bulb yourself, then take it to your local garage as many of them will offer the service for free.


With 10% of MOT failures occurring because of problems with tyres, it remains important to make sure what you’re driving on is ok. The legal minimum required tread depth for your tyres is 1.6mm, but in winter weather it is recommended that is should be 3mm. Before you take your car in for its MOT, make sure the tyre pressures are correct, the tyres are all the same size and they have no cuts, bulges or any other signs of damage.

Your vehicle handbook should tell you what type of tyres you need and what pressure should be set for various scenarios, such as driving with a car full of people.


Almost one in 10 MOT fails are due to issues with brakes. To avoid getting caught out, test your brakes every day before you start your journey. If you hear any strange noises or your car pulls to one side then you need to take it to a garage.

To check your brake fluid level, look for the high/low markings which are located on the reservoir.

Driver’s View Of The Road

Make sure your mirrors, wipers and washers are all in good working order, as 8.5% of all MOT faults are related to the ‘driver’s view of the road’. Things like stickers, toys and air fresheners can all block a driver’s view, so if you have any of these you need to ensure they are not obstructing your view, and if they are, they will have to go.

If your windscreen wiper blades are more than a year old then it might be time to replace them, or if they show any signs of damage they’ll need replacing then too. Make sure your washer fluid is topped up and works properly. Your rear-view mirrors must in good condition and must be adjustable. Also, if there are large chips in your windscreen, it might be best to get it replaced or repaired, else you risk failing your MOT for this too.

If you’re a young or newly qualified driver, then you may not have had to put a vehicle through an MOT test before, and so the list above could help you with the process, and help increase the chances of a test pass. Likewise, if you are looking for ways to get a cheaper young driver insurance quote, then call us on 0330 127 4100 or click Get a Quote below.