The 5 Most Common Reasons for Failing an MOT Test

If your vehicle is more than three years old, you are required by law to take it for an annual MOT test. This test involves a full inspection of your vehicle to make sure all its component parts are functioning correctly and that the vehicle is fit to be driven on public roads. If your car passes, then you’re okay to drive home and repeat the process in a year’s time. If it fails, you will need to get any components that are a cause for concern either repaired or replaced.

As a long-established and reputable MOT testing centre for drivers in the Newport and Cwmbran area, we have inspected thousands of cars over the years. In this article, we’re going to talk about the five most common reasons why cars fail MOT tests.


Poor- or non-functioning lights (front and rear) account for 29% of MOT failures. While this is sometimes down to the car’s electrics or misaligned headlights, often it’s as simple as a loose or broken bulb.


A worn or corroded suspension system accounts for 20% of MOT failure causes. If your car is rattling over bumps in the road, or you can hear knocking or banging sounds from underneath the car, it’s likely the vehicle will not be passing its MOT test.


As one of your vehicle’s most crucial safety features, it’s no surprise that the MOT test covers your brake system. 17% of failures are as a result of worn brake pads, faulty brake lines, or unusual patterns of wear.


Tyres that are not suitable for road use make up 11% of MOT fails. The most common reason is the tyre’s tread depth, which must be greater than 1.6mm minimum to pass.


Exhausts account for 5% of all MOT test fails, which is surprising, considering there is so much that can go wrong with them. From loose exhaust systems, through noxious emissions and corroded exhaust pipes, to missing silencers, all these things are a potential MOT fail.

How to avoid failing your MOT test

With most of these problems, you need to get the faulty part repaired or replaced. Noticing the problem early on and acting on any unusual sounds, warning lights, or sub-optimal performance is the most cost-effective way of keeping your car in roadworthy condition. Alternatively, regular car servicing is a great way to ensure there are no nasty surprises. An annual car service from Archway Vehicle Repairs can identify any causes of concern, giving you the chance to remedy them before they deteriorate into something worse.

Here at Archway Vehicle Repairs, we have been conducting MOT tests for the people of Newport for more than 20 years. We are a family-run firm that guarantees a quick turnaround on all MOT tests we have booked in. We can also provide professional advice and additional car repair services, should you need them. Book your test with confidence today by calling 01633 254 717.


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