Posted: Tue 14th Mar 2023

Brakes and tyres overwhelmingly cause most ‘dangerous’ MOT failures, says RAC

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Mar 14th, 2023

Brake and tyre issues have been found to be the most serious reasons for MOT failures in the UK, according to data from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) analysed by the RAC.

The report revealed that while faults with amps, reflectors, and indicators were the most common reasons for vehicles to fail their MOTs, brake and tyre problems were more likely to lead to the most serious failures.

The analysis found that a third of all initial MOT tests resulted in a fail, and nearly one in ten tests resulted in a dangerous defect being found.

In such cases, where an examiner deems a vehicle to be unfit to be driven until a defect has been repaired, brakes and tyres accounted for 88% of all such failures.

The RAC emphasised the critical importance of drivers carrying out routine checks on these items.

The report also revealed that problems with non-working headlights, indicators, and reflectors accounted for just over a quarter of all MOT failures, while faulty or broken suspensions represented just under a fifth of all failures.

Problems with brakes and tyres were the third and fourth most common reasons for MOT failures, with bad visibility – likely caused by cracks on windscreens – completing the top five.

The biggest causes of MOT failures have remained consistent over many years, but the proportion of tyre failures has increased slightly from 10% in 2018-19 to 12% in 2021-22.

All cars in the UK require an MOT test three years after their first registration and annually thereafter.

The cost of a car MOT test (class 4 vehicle) can be up to £54.80, and drivers risk incurring significant repair costs if their vehicle fails the test.

RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: “Many drivers dread taking their vehicle for its annual MOT for fear they could end up having to spend lots of money on repairs in order to get it to pass. This is no doubt the case for an unlucky third of owners whose vehicles fail their MOTs initially.”

Lyes added: “Drivers should never ignore dashboard warning lights as they could end up putting themselves or others at risk and costing themselves a lot of money with a bigger repair bill than necessary had they acted straightaway. Additionally, routine servicing helps reduce the chance of a vehicle failing its MOT as it includes a host of important basic checks.”

Last year, the UK Government was reported to be considering switching the MOT from annually to every two years, a move that over half of drivers (55%) thought was a bad idea according to data gathered by a survey of the RAC Opinion Panel.

Nicholas Lyes added: “With more than 7.3m small passenger vehicles initially failing their MOTs, and alarmingly around 2.4m of these failures having at least one dangerous defect, the idea of relaxing rules on MOT tests could very well result in making our roads far more dangerous with the number of unroadworthy vehicles increasing. We hope the Government has finally consigned such an idea to the bin.”

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