The annual MOT test can also be a test of the driver’s nerves and bank balance, as you never know when there is a problem lurking for your vehicle’s health. According to a recent article on the This is Money website, 2.9 million vehicles passed MOTs in the past year which should have failed, which is alarming news for the nation’s road safety.
An investigation by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and What Car? Magazine found that nearly one in seven vehicles that passed an MOT should have been failed by the test centre. The Compliance Survey for 2019/20 found that 13.58% of vehicles were on the road with potentially dangerous defects.
Furthermore, the DVSA found that in a randomised sample of 1,800 vehicles, 70.1% had at least one defect which was missed or incorrectly recorded, and 56.48% had three or more defects missed or incorrectly recorded. 31% of all vehicles typically fail the MOT at the first attempt. So what are the most common issues?
- Lights and signalling (18.9%)
Issues with lights count for nearly a fifth of all MOT fails, according to the RAC. The organisation advises car owners to switch on all the lights and walk around the vehicle to check for any problems. Make sure the indicators are flashing normally, and ask someone to
stand behind the car as you press the brake pedal to make sure the brake lights are working.
Also, check the condition of the lights: are there any cracks, and do they need cleaning out to remove lens mist?
- Suspension (13%)
One in 10 fails are due to suspension issues, which are not always as easy to spot as you might think. Tell-tale signs are clunking noises, especially when cornering or going over speed bumps. Also, check to see if the car sits level at all corners.
- Brakes (10%)
Worryingly, where the DVSA survey disagreed with the MOT test station, about 18% of the cases involved faults with the brakes. This is on top of the one in 10 vehicles that currently fail for this issue. Listen out for squealing or grinding noises which could mean the brakes need attention.
- Tyres (7.7%)
The DVSA recorded a 13% discrepancy for passes and fails due to problems with tyres. The legal minimum tread for tyres is 1.6mm across the central three quarters. A simple way to check this is to insert a 20p coin between the tread in the middle part of the tyre. If you can see the outer band of the coin, the tread is too low.
- Issues with the driver’s view of the road (7.2%)
Windscreen cracks or chips in the driver’s eye-line, or items dangling from the rear-view mirror, account for 7.2% of MOT fails. Also, check if the windscreen wipers are working as they should and that the windscreen washer fluid is topped up. This one can be down to common sense: anything which obscures your view of the road should be dealt with.
If you need windscreen replacement in the UK, please contact us today.