posted 7 months ago

MOT Failures Are Costing UK Motorists an Average of £325

Many motorists these days think a car is simply like their phone, you just use it for a few years before chucking it in and getting a new one. The only thing you have to do is charge it back up with fuel.

Failing an MOT is never a good thing. It often means a costly repair bill coupled with the hassle of further garage visits and having your car off the road.

New research suggests that the average driver pays out roughly £272 in repairs after an MOT failure. Add the price of the test onto that and the total average cost to get the car back on the road legally is £325.

This goes hand in hand with the fact that stricter MOT rules are creating double the amount of failures compared to just a year ago. This has also forced up the number of MOT-less cars on our roads, and without an MOT you can’t tax your motor, which could lead to a £1,000 fine.

The majority of failures, however, are still caused by simple things you should check yourself before the test. One in ten MOT failures are due to tyres, three in ten are down to blown bulbs, a further one in ten relate to the driver's view of the road i.e. washers not working, mirrors broken etc.

All these things should be checked or at least noticed by their owner, being told at the yearly test is just shameful.

MOT Failures Are Costing UK Motorists an Average of £325 Image 2

Another shocking statistic the research reveals is that one in three don’t know how to put air in their tyres. Scary. Nearly half of all surveyed also don’t know how to change a tyre, while around a quarter couldn’t test their tyre pressure.

Many motorists these days think a car is simply like their phone, you just use it for a few years before chucking it in and getting a new one. The only thing you have to do is charge it back up with fuel.

Clearly, most have forgotten that there are around 2,000 moving parts in the average car, they’re complexed machines that need to be checked every now and then. It’s for your own safety as well as everyone else’s.

So what should you check before an MOT?

Lights – Make sure they’re all working. Headlights, rear lights, sidelights, hazards and indicators. Also check the number plate lamps, brake lights and your fog lights if you have them. A bulb can cost pennies to replace and will save you a lot of grief.

Wheels & tyres – You should have a minimum of 1.6mm of tread on your tyres. You can test this by putting a 20p in the tread, if it covers the outer border of the coin you’re fine. If not, you need to get your tyres changed.

This measurement is taken across the whole tyre, edges commonly wear quicker. It’s also advisable to swap tyres when you get to 3mm of tread left.

Number plates – Make sure your plates aren’t cracked, damaged, or separating from their backing. They need to be legible and in a standard format.

Wipers – Test your wash and make sure it sprays from both nozzles, wipers shouldn’t smear, and the rubber blade part needs to be free from damage.

Horn – Push it, if it makes a noise you’re good to go.

Warning lights – If there’s an ABS, engine, brake fluid or airbag warning light on the dash, your car will fail its MOT. Make sure you get any of these faults sorted ASAP as they are all potentially dangerous to drive with.

Those checks will take around ten minutes to make, it helps if you have someone with you for the lights, but it’s all doable on your own with a little ingenuity.

It’s worth spending a few minutes on a pre-MOT check rather than being faced with a potential £325 bill a week later.

Oh, and it also helps to remember your MOT. More and more motorists are simply forgetting to take their car along since the paper tax disk was scrapped. Thankfully we offer a free MOT reminder service, just pop your registration in together with your email, and we’ll tell you when it’s time to book your next test.

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