Designed to ensure your vehicle is roadworthy, an MOT primarily focuses on the safety of your vehicle. Whilst the gearbox, clutch and the condition of the engine aren’t routinely assessed during the test, an MOT does involve comprehensive checks on other parts of the vehicle. The brakes, exhaust, fuel system, seatbelts and lights are just a small example of the inspection areas included in an MOT, but there are many more which are carried out by your mechanic.

With over a third of vans and cars failing their initial MOT, it’s important to know what the most likely cause MOT failures. In many cases, your vehicle may be able to pass its MOT with some basic maintenance ahead of the test. Failure can be avoided in a pre-MOT check on the following:

(26.7% OF FAILS)

Your headlamps, reverse lights and indicators are vital to your safety on the road. Faulty electricals could be down to a loose connection and failed lamps could simply require a bulb change. With minimal work and limited cost, replacing reflectors and bulbs prior to your MOT could ensure your vehicle passes first time.

(18.3% OF FAILS)

When you’re driving your vehicle, make a point of listening out for any usual sounds, especially when you’re driving on bumpy roads. In addition to this, take a look at your vehicle when it’s parked and see if it’s level or if one corner dips more than the others. This could indicate a problem with your suspension. In most instances, it’s more cost-effective to get this repaired before your MOT.

(17% OF FAILS)

Although 7.5% of vehicles fail their MOT because of their brakes, a significant proportion of these are due to worn brake pads or discs. If your brakes squeak or your vehicle pulls to one side as you brake, it’s a good indicator that they need replacing. Motoring enthusiasts may feel confident enough to replace these themselves, but you can request that it’s done before your MOT if you want to increase your chances of passing.

(10.6% OF FAILS)

One of the most visible parts of the car, tyres should be fairly easy to inspect. If the tread is wearing low, it’s time to get them replaced. Whilst you’ll need to do this ahead of your MOT if you want to avoid failing, you should replace the tyres as soon as they get too worn due to the safety risk they can pose.


If there’s anything blocking your view of the road, your vehicle will fail on visibility. A simple check is to ensure that your wipers are working properly. Replacing a wiper blade or topping up wiper fluid can be far cheaper than paying for a re-test, so performing these checks regularly could help to ensure your vehicle passes its MOT and keep you safe on the road.

Online Automotive specialise in providing our customers with the tools, parts and information required to pass your vehicle MOT first time, saving money on the dealership part prices.

Please see the following link to find your vehicles make and model to save money before your MOT:

Find your make & model