How to pass your MoT

Car insurance
Worried about your car failing its MoT? Well, maybe you should be… Four in 10 cars fail their Ministry of Transport tests, according to car warranty specialist Warranty Direct.


But increasing the chances of your vehicle passing with flying colours might be easier than you think. New research from Warranty Direct shows that carrying out just a few simple checks and doing some basic driveway DIY could help a massive 1.5 million motorists to avoid MoT failures every year. What’s more, many of the little jobs that make all the difference apply to everyone – whether you drive a modern, high-tech sports car or a battered old van. So here’s a quick guide on how to pass your MoT...

Simple steps…

MoT tests can cost up to £54.85, in accordance with government regulations. Many garages and testing centres offer them for less. Kwik Fit, for example, charges £30. But for many drivers, the cost of the test is just the start of it due to the expensive repairs required after the event in order for their vehicles to pass a retest. Fortunately, there are lots of simple steps you can take to improve the chances of you driving away with an MoT certificate the first time round. These include changing light bulbs, replacing windscreen washer fluid and checking parts such as windscreen wipers and tyres.

Reasons cars fail MoTs

Some cars fail their MoT tests due to a serious mechanical problem. This is not always the case, though. Something as simple as an empty screen wash container can easily cause an MoT fail.

About 4,600 vehicles failed their tests for this very reason between August 2012 and August 2013, figures from What Car? show. Other common and easily avoidable reasons for MoT failures include blown headlights, sidelights, rear lights, hazard lights and indicators. Turning up with too little oil or petrol can also cause the tester to send you away because you do not have sufficient fluids in the car for the test to be conducted. And even failing to clear out the clutter or give your car a clean can lead to a failed test.

The What Car? research found that an incredible 2,852 vehicles failed their MoTs for being too dirty or cluttered in the 12 months to August 2013. Warranty Direct managing director, David Gerrans, said: “It never ceases to amaze us how many MoT failures could be avoided with the simplest of pre-test checks. “Making sure there are no cracks in your number plate, your wheels and tyres are undamaged and that there are no tears or holes in the windscreen wipers are all things the motorist can do at home.”

Top 10 things to check

  •  Headlights and indicators
  • Brake lights
  • Number plate
  • Wheels and tyres
  • Seats and seatbelts
  • Windscreen
  • Windscreen wipers
  • Screenwash
  • Horn
  • Fuel and engine oil


Top tip! If there is a warning light flashing up on your dashboard, it also makes sense to check it out – your vehicle handbook should tell you what it means – and remedy the problem before putting your car in for its MoT. And don’t forget that you can cut your motoring costs further by finding the most competitive car insurance price when you renew your policy or take out a new one.

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