Common causes of MOT failure and How To Avoid Them

It’s always frustrating and disappointing to see your vehicle fails. Sudden car MOT failure can instill fear into even the most experienced and confident drivers- because no matter how good you’re at driving, there’s no guarantee that your car is doing well from inside. After you go through an MOT test for the first time, you’re required to have an annual MOT test.

During an MOT test, important components of your car will be examined thoroughly to ensure that every main component of your vehicle meets the legal standards and that your car is safe to drive. An MOT test is hugely important if you want to drive freely on the road without any hindrance. Regardless of the type of car or other vehicles you drive, once your car hits someone, you are required to get an MOT to assess your vehicle’s roadworthiness.

What exactly MOT failure means?

In layman’s terms, an MOT failure means when your vehicle fails to meet the standard. It means that your car isn’t safe for the road, and driving around pedestrians can cause fatal injuries and even fatalities. MOT failures are categorized into three stages- minor, major, and dangerous.

Minor defects

Minor defects mean that your car has no significant risk at present but does require an overhaul, repair, or maintenance. In this stage, the driver is still eligible to receive an MOT test certificate but is advised to get defaults fixed in time.

Major defects

Major defects show that there is a greater risk of injury as a result of an issue in your car. The default can have a severe impact on the environment. In this situation, your vehicle is not eligible to meet the DVSA’s standards, hence MOT failure.

Dangerous defects

Dangerous, as the name says that the MOT test has diagnosed an extremely dangerous fault that can pose a serious risk to both yourself and other drivers around. Having your MOT test in this stage means that you cannot drive your car until it has been repaired.

Can you drive away with failure MOT?

It’s illegal to drive your car if you fail the MOT test. If your car has been identified as having some serious faults, you should not be driving. It is advised that you get the faults addressed and undergo full car service immediately.

Driving a vehicle in this condition is like sitting on a mad bull which will only cause severe injuries to you and the people around you. If you get caught, you’ll face a penalty on your license with a fine of up to £2,500 and a potential driving ban.

If you got pulled over by police or traffic wardens, you could face serious fines or prosecution if you failed your MOT test. So it’s a good idea to get your car timely serviced and ace your MOT test. But if you have been specially organized and had your MOT done before it gets expired, you still may have some chances to drive your car if it fails.

How can you avoid failing your MOT?

Get your lights and signals checked

Fused headlights are the most common cause of MOT failure and one of the simplest and cheapest issues to get fixed. Before the test, ensure that all lights and indicators are working- rear, front, brake lights, and indicators.


The car’s suspension is on the front head, which gets severely impacted. Unwanted potholes and off-roading can make your suspension a severe workout. You can do a pre-test to prevent an MOT failure. Get full car service before you appear for the MOT test.


Brakes are the crucial component that you need to double-check. Monitor your spongey pedal feel. If the car pulls to the left or right under braking – it’s an indication that the pads need to be get replaced. On average, brakes should need refreshing at about 50,000 miles, but it may be sooner or later, depending on your driving style.

Driver’s view of the road/Visibility

Driver/s visibility is an important factor for a smooth driving experience. If your windscreen is cracked/ chipped or if the view is blocked by any object, such as an air freshener, phone holder, etc. They can lead you to a failed MOT test.

Closing thoughts

There you’ve it. We hope this post has cleared the fog of what causes MOT failure and how to prevent them. We expect that you have gained some relevant insights which will help you to clear your MOT test without any hindrance. The best way to clear your car MOT test is to get your full car -service time so that you can address the issue at the earliest before it gets worse. Till then, happy journey, and drive safely!

Leave a Comment