Top Reasons For MOT Failures Revealed

Top Reasons For MOT Failures Revealed


There are few things more frustrating than a vehicle failing its MOT.

You can look after vehicles with the utmost care and attention and things can still go wrong, leaving you with a rather large hole in your pocket.

And when you’re operating a fleet, there’s quite a few vehicles to sort out when the time rolls around again.

So, knowing the top reasons for a vehicle failing its MOT might be pretty useful beforehand, right?

Well, according to the latest research lamps, reflectors, and electrical equipment are the most common defects flagƒged up on failed tests. This year, indicators were specified as a significant issue for the first time in several years, with the most common defects listed being: 

  • Suspension
  • Lamps
  • Reflectors
  • Tyres
  • Brakes
  • Electrical equipment

What Happens When A Vehicle Fails Its MOT?

Failing an MOT might seem like the end of the world… but it doesn’t have to be.

Mechanics will tell you that with one in three MOTs being failed on first inspection, it’s more common than you might think.

That means that 2.4 million vehicles fail with a ‘dangerous’ defect every year, with 7.3 million vehicles failing an MOT each and every year.

However, it should be noted that brakes and tyres are the main reason for failure where the examiner has failed a vehicle for a ‘serious’ defect, representing 88% of these cases.

The biggest causes of MOT failures has remained consistent over the last decade, but there has been an increase in the number of tyre failures being reported, rising from 10% to 12% in 2021/22.

In recent years, we’ve seen backlogs with MOTs that presented concerns for many, given that there was an increased risk of vehicles being on the road that might fail an MOT had the test been conducted.

It should also be noted that unexpected mechanical failures are much more likely on older vehicles with brakes, gearboxes and clutches being put under more strain the longer they’re in operation.

What About Potential MOT Changes?

The government has suggested that MOTs could only be necessary once every 2 years under plans to shake up the current rules.

MOTs are legally required every 12 months for any vehicles aged 3 years and over, to ensure that they are road legal and meet the minimum safety requirements.

New vehicles are exempt for the first 3 years from the date the vehicle is registered, though regular services are advised and often required after certain mileage figures are reached.

The government is under pressure to ease the burden of the rising cost of living and a reduction in MOT requirements has been put forward as one way to do just that.

But given that the cost of MOTs is capped by the government (£54.85 for a car and £29.65 for a motorcycle), it’s unlikely to be the biggest expense associated with owning a vehicle.

Essential repairs, maintenance, and servicing can run up to hundreds of pounds every year, and some experts have criticised the short-sighted approach of considering pushing MOTs to a biennial requirement.

Rules differ for HGVs and other fleet vehicles, but the reality is that any consideration over a reprieve in MOT requirements would also consider the impact on commercial vehicles.

What do you think of potential changes to the MOT system? Let us know in the comments below…