Aveley Garage & M.O.T. Centre

Common MOT Failures to Avoid

Annual MOTs can be a hassle for car owners. Even the most confident and assured of drivers have no choice but to get their cars tested. Understandably, MOT tests are not something to look forward to as you have to sit and wait for a while and hope that your car won’t need major vehicle servicing.


Every year, around one and a half million cars in the UK fail their first MOT test for something as simple as faulty bulbs. Official statistics reveal that the average fail is the result of 3 defects, most of which could have easily been resolved before the test.


If it’s your first time getting your car’s MOT test, we’ve gathered the most common failures you should look out for.

Lighting and Signalling

Around 19% of MOT fails are because of an issue with the car’s lighting and signalling. Before taking your car for its MOT test, its best to do a simple test first. Switch your car lights on and see if they’re all in working order.


The indicators should flash as they should. Are the number plate lights workings? Have you also checked the condition of the lights?


Check if the plastic lenses are looking misty. If they are, you might want to buy a cleaning kit to clean them ahead of the MOT. Don’t forget to look out for cracks in the lights, too. Also, check if brake lights light up when you press the brake pedal.



Another common MOT fail has something to do with the suspension. Thousands of cars fail their annual test because of suspension issues. You might be forgiven for a snapped spring or a leaky shock absorber, but there’s really no guarantee if your car will pass its test or not.


What you can do is test your car during your daily drives. When cornering or passing over bumpy roads, pay attention to the noises made by your car. Also check for any unusual clunks.


Does your car sit level when you park it up? If it’s too high or too low in one corner, try pushing down on it and see if it returns back to its normal level. While doing so, observe if your car bounces up and down a few times.



One in ten cars fail their annual test due to issues with the braking system. Brake fault is so obvious and can be fixed with professional vehicle servicing. You can perform a simple brake test yourself.


Pay attention for grinding or squealing noises from your brakes. They could be a warning sign that the brake pads are running low. You may need brake replacements.


Does your car pull to one side or stop in a straight line when you hit the brakes? Remove the wheel to look through the spokes and check if the surface of the brake disc still looks smooth. If the brake pads are getting thinner, it’s time to have them replaced.



Did you know that 7% of the average MOT fail is a result of tyre issues? While 7.7% is not a big number, it’s still worrying that cars fail their MOT because of their tyres. Car tyres are critical to road safety.


Even if your vehicle has all the safety systems in the world, they are rendered useless if the tyres are not up to scratch. Often, road accidents happen because vehicles have poor tyres. As per the law, car tyres need 1.6mm of tread across the central three quarters.


You can check the tread by using a 20p coin. Insert the coin and if you see the outer band, the tread is too low. You might want to get your tyres replaced as you could be fined up to £2,500 for having low-tread tyres.


Why Perform Pre-MOT Checks?

Your car needs to pass its annual test so you can get an MOT certificate that grants you permission to drive throughout the UK. If it fails the MOT test, you will be issued with a VT30 certificate stating the reasons that caused your MOT failure.


If parts are near to reaching the point of test failure or if there are defects on non-testable items, you will also have advisory notices on this. Part of your responsibility as a vehicle owner is to keep an eye out for any issues that may affect roadworthiness. If you fail to fulfil your responsibilities, you will be liable for a £2,500 fine. You will also get penalty points for driving a car in a dangerous condition.


Call Us for Professional Vehicle Diagnostics

If you’re ready to get your vehicle’s MOT done, turn to Aveley Garage and MOT Centre. We offer vehicle servicing and MOTs within a 15-mile radius of RM15 4BP. Get in touch with our friendly team so we can schedule a convenient time to pick up your vehicle.


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