Nearly half a million pounds wasted on MOT test fails

This is according to new research which has been published by What Car? magazine which investigated the most common simple reasons for MOT test failures.

The research focuses on a period between August 2012 and August 2013, when 285,236 MOT test failures were recorded. Nearly four per cent of these failures were on cars having their first test and the reasons for failure could have been easily foreseen and avoided.

Out of all these easily avoidable failures, the most common reason for these particular failed MOT tests was because owners had not topped up the screenwash. This oversight was responsible for 4,649 cars failing their test according to the research.

The next most common simple reason for failure was because of the car being too dirty or full of clutter to complete the test. This problem accounted for 2,852 failures in the researched period.

Following this in the most common reasons was registration plate anomalies such as incorrect font/spacing or having the plate missing or too dirty. This accounted for 1,398 of MOT test failures.

1,055 cars failed their first MOT test because of stickers on the windscreen which were blocking the driver’s view. 799 cars failed the MOT test because of a warning light displayed on the vehicle’s dashboard.

With an average MOT test price at £45, it means the 10,753 cars that failed their first test amounts to £483,885 wasted by UK motorists.

The consumer editor for What Car? magazine, Emma Butcher, commented: "There are some really simple things that every motorist can do to help a three-year-old car pass its first MOT test, but it’s amazing how many people don’t do them.

"Many people probably don’t even realise that MOT testers can refuse to test your car if it’s too dirty or full of clutter.

"However, most know there are rules about having a standardised registration plate and yet we found 29 people whose car failed because their numberplate was the wrong colour, and 114 who presented their car without a number plate at all."

All cars in Britain aged three years or older are legally required to come with a valid MOT certificate. To receive such a certificate, vehicles must undergo a yearly MOT test to confirm whether it is roadworthy.