Most Common MOT Failures

Nov 18, 2020

Most Common MOT Failures

If you’re from the UK, then you may already know that the UK must pass a yearly MOT test which is a simple test of roadworthiness and is not to be confused with your car’s annual service.

MOT’s are going to determine whether or not your car is safe to drive on the road and identify any lurking health issues such as clutch problems that can result in a breakdown. To help you pass your MOT and keep your car roadworthy, we are going to reveal the top 5 common MOT failures. Some are more simple than you might think!

5 common MOT failures

Lights and signalling

Number one on the list of most common MOT failures is lights and signalling, blown bulbs are the single biggest cause of failures despite being one of the easiest and cheapest things to fix. Before you head to your test, get a friend or a family member to help you check that all lights and indicators are in working order - brake lights, fog lights, front, rear, reverse light etc. If you have deflectors fitted for driving in Europe but forgotten to take them off, you can also fail your MOT test.


Next up is suspension, data from the RAC shows that suspension issues cause more than one in ten MOT failures. One of the more difficult things to spot due to suspension problems being hidden pretty well, so if you miss a leaking shock absorber, it’s understandable. However, you can spot any suspension problems by paying attention to noises made by your car during everyday driving, particularly when going over speed bumps or uneven road surfaces.

Other signs are if your car is sitting too high or too low, particularly in one corner, if it doesn’t return back to normal level when you push down on each corner, then you have a suspension problem.


You don’t need us to explain the importance of your braking system, but it is the third most common reason for failing an MOT test. When driving, be aware of a potential spongy pedal feel or the car pulling to one side when braking. This is a sign that your brake pads need to be replaced, on average they should be refreshed around every 50,000 miles but depending on your driving style they may need to be replaced sooner.


Tyres are the only part of your car that makes physical contact with the road and with that, they should be checked regularly throughout the year to ensure they’re in good condition. Carrying out regular health checks on your tyres is important to keeping you safe on the road.

Any issues affecting the driver’s view of the road

Being able to see the road clearly is vital for safe driving, yet an alarming amount of MOT failures are a result of issues affecting the driver’s view of the road. This includes anything blocking the windscreen such as air fresheners or chips within the driver’s eyeline. It can even include whether the bonnet can close securely or not.

Finally, your wipers - do they work as they should? Are they making any loud noises? It’s also worth topping up your washer fluid before the test.

Have you got your MOT test coming up? Why not get your car checked over by a mechanic to identify any potential issues that could result in you failing your test or even find an accredited test centre? Here at, we can help you find local mechanics within your area, saving you both time and money. Get your quote!

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