A million cars on UK roads will undergo their first MoT test over the next few weeks and a third are expected to fail…
Robin Roberts reports…
In the first quarter of 2014, the SMMT was excitedly telling us about 688,000 63-plate and 465,000 14-plate cars that went through showrooms and onto the roads as Britain recovered from the financial crisis of 2008/09.
It was a slow recovery which had been accurately predicted by automotive industry economist Prof Garel Rhys of Cardiff Business School.
He was spot on with his prediction of the upturn when it eventually happened and the SMMT said March 2014 registrations were the highest in a decade.
Now those buyers and cars face the MoT for the first time and the DVLA believes a third will fail because of often easily remedied faults with tyres, lights and wipers.
Keeping on top of some basic car maintenance can both keep you safe and prevent your car failing its MOT test.
The 2015/16 Road Casualty Report reveals that 1,830 accidents can be attributed to the vehicle being unroadworthy. Over half of these accidents occurred due to braking defects and tyre defects.
The MOT is there to help avoid this, and the standards should be followed all year.
Nearly 50% of all faults found on MOTs could be avoided by carrying out regular, simple checks and maintenance, like replacing bulbs, wipers and tyres – so doing this through the year is a sensible idea.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is urging motorists to avoid MOT fails and accidents occurring by carrying out regular, simple checks on their vehicles.
DVSA Chief Executive, Gareth Llewellyn, said, “DVSA’s priority is to help you keep your car safe to drive on our roads.
“Don’t wait until your MOT to find out if your car needs attention. Make sure your car is properly maintained and safe to drive at all times.
“Carrying out regular checks on lights and tyres will help you to stay safe and legal, as well as saving you time and money when your car’s MOT is due.”
Of the 29.5 million MOTs carried out in 2015/16, 37% of car tests initially resulted in a fail.
Nearly one in five of all cars taken for MOT had problems with lighting and signalling – including simple problems such as blown bulbs.
Ensuring these simple checks are done will help keep motorists safe, especially in the bad weather and dark of the winter months.
Top tips for your car to pass its MOT and be safe to drive
- It is very important to make sure brakes work smoothly and that the vehicle doesn’t pull to one side.
- Also crucial is to check tyres have no cuts or bulges, and that they all have at least 1.6mm of tread.
- Ensure headlights and other lights work; give them a tap to check they’re not loose or damaged and check the colours are correct and match.
- Make sure windscreen wipers and washers work, and the driver’s view of the road is clear of any obstruction (such as stickers, toys or air fresheners).
DVSA has also published a series of short videos on YouTube showing how to carry out simple maintenance checks:
- Tyre checks
- Oil checks
- Fluid checks
- Brakes, lights, indicators and horn checks
The most common reasons for MOT failures in 2015/16 were:
- Lighting and signalling (18.9% of tests)
- Suspension (13.0% of tests)
- Brakes (10% of tests)
- Tyres (7.7% of tests)
- Driver’s view of the road (7.2% of tests)