Are you prepared for your MOT?

According to new research, over half of MOT failures could be avoided with the proper preparation. So how ready are you for your test?

Preparation is key

Over a third (36.3 per cent) of MOTs in the 2015-2016 financial year were failed initially, according to information made available by the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

The DVSA goes on to say that almost 50 per cent of MOT failures could be avoided by carrying out basic car maintenance.



One in seven (14 per cent) drivers would not carry out any car maintenance tasks prior to an MOT



However, a recent study by LV= has revealed that 28 per cent of owners wouldn't carry out any car maintenance to pass their MOT. 

The study also revealed that just over half of UK car owners would check that their lights (54 per cent) and indicators (49 per cent) work properly before their MOT, yet faulty lighting and signalling was the main cause of MOT failures, at 18.9 per cent, according to DVSA statistics.


Confidence is key

One of the main reasons that drivers aren’t carrying out checks on their car before their MOT is a lack of confidence.

Only 59 per cent of car owners surveyed by LV= would be confident enough to check that their headlights are working, while only slightly more than a third (38 per cent) would be confident changing a tyre.

Most car owners were taught car maintenance by their dads (35 per cent), while 33 per cent of those surveyed were self-taught.



Despite many people learning from their parents, only 8 per cent said parents should be the most responsible for teaching car maintenance skill



Almost a quarter (24 per cent) of adults said they think driving instructors should be responsible for educating people about car maintenance, but only 7 per cent of people polled said their driving instructor taught them.

If you aren't confident about your car maintenance skills, brush on your skills as soon as possible, whether you are teaching yourself or turning to someone else for help.


Tips for keeping your car in good condition

Save money at the mechanics by taking regular care of your car. Here are a few starting points:

  • Check your tyre pressure and the condition of your tyres every fortnight. Don't forget about your spare tyre. Watch out for cuts, grooves, serious wear and make sure your tread is within legal limits. If your tyre pressure is correct, it's safer and you'll get better miles per gallon.
  • When you're looking at tyre pressure, use your dipstick to check oil levels too. Top up your motor oil if it's looking low or if you're just about to set off on a long journey. If you're having to top up your oil more often than usual, take your car to the garage to get it checked.
  • You should check that all your lights are working before every journey. You could get pulled over by police if you’ve got a brake light out. Check indicators, reverse lights, brake lights and fog lights and look out for blown bulbs and cracks or dirt on the lenses.
  • By law, your screenwash must work at all times. Keep it regularly topped up with a good screenwash solution—one that clears dirt from your windscreen and prevents the water from freezing during winter.


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