Common MOT Failure Reasons

All cars in the UK that are more than 3 years must have a valid MOT carried out once a year (unless the car was made before 1960). This is a test of worthiness and safety to be on the road. It is not as in depth as a vehicle health check and will not uncover underlying problems such as with the engine or clutch. Many vehicles fail and it’s normally due to the simplest of things that could have been avoided with regular servicing and maintenance. Here are some of the top MOT failure reasons:

  1. Lights & Signals

Almost one fifth of all cars that fail an MOT do so because of a problem with their lights. Even if it’s just a broken bulb, the car will still fail. Before your MOT, walk around your vehicle with the lights on and check they are all in working order. The condition that lights are in is also important. Light covers can get murky over time so giving them a clean beforehand can be beneficial. Check for any cracks in the covers and also get someone to check your brake lights are functioning. For MOT Gloucester services, visit

  1. Suspension

Potholes cause thousands of breakdown calls every year, so it’s no wonder that one tenth of MOT failures are related to issues with suspension. Suspension issues are not always easy to spot, so you might not even know there’s an issue until your car fails an MOT. Signs that all is not well include new noises during everyday driving, cornering or going over bumps in the road. Walk around your car and check it’s all level. Push down on each corner to see whether it immediately returns to normal or bounces several times.

  1. Brakes

For obvious reasons, no cars should be on the road if they have defective brakes and 10% of MOT failures are down to insufficient braking systems. Braking faults are mostly pretty obvious so that’s quite a lot of cars being driven on our roads with inadequate braking capacity! Pay attention to any grinding or squealing noises from the brakes which are both signs of excessive wear on the brake pads. Does your car pull to one side when braking? Handbrakes are also a common cause of MOT failure and to test yours, stop on an incline and apply the handbrake. If it doesn’t hold the car firmly in place, it could need some adjusting.

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  1. Tyres

As the only part of the car to physically touch the road surface, your tyres are very important. Any neglect of the tyres could prove disastrous. A regular check of your tyres should become part of the overall maintenance of your car and not something to only be checked come MOT time. Many people overlook this though, as they are the fourth biggest MOT failure reason.

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