Five ways to fail your MOT as October predicted to be peak month for tests

We've seen a lot of motoring news in recent weeks.

Now as October is in full swing, it marks the peak month for MOT tests. It is believed a whopping 7.3million Brits fail their MOT each year.

In light of the news, motorists are now being warned around mistakes they might ignore which could cause a failure. From seatbelts to potholes, there are many preventable problems to avoid.

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Paul Maynard at ATS Euromaster highlights five unusual yet preventable mistakes which can cause a disappointing test and a bill reaching over £300 to fix.

Car horn

Your car horn can cause your vehicle to fail its MOT. That's because your horn needs to sound properly for safety reasons.

However, excessively loud horns that may deafen other drivers may also warrant a failure, as they function as a distraction from the road.


With the UK having an estimated 1m potholes, it's not surprising they are causing damage to cars across the nation. Damage can include flat spots in the wheels which could cost an average £200 during an MOT.

Seatbelt wear and tear

When was the last time you checked the quality of your seatbelt? Your vehicle technician will look at whether your seatbelt has any tears or knots, and how easily it retracts.

If a frayed seatbelt is not tended to, drivers are risking their own safety as well as their passengers'. A worn-out belt is unlikely to click in place securely and may come loose with a tug, meaning they are not safe.

A new seatbelt could cost you up to £100, so keeping it in good condition will avoid incurring any additional costs.

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Dirty car

You can fail an MOT before the test has even begun, if your car is deemed dirty. Your number plates also need to be clean and visible during your test.

This rule is in place so that the police and other road users as well as speed cameras can easily identify a car. It's also worth remembering, an unclear registration plate could lead to an on-the-spot fine of £1,000.

Fluid levels

General fluid levels, such as brake fluids can cause you to fail if they are significantly low at the time of your test. Your MOT tester will check the amount of fluid in the reservoirs meet the minimum level.

A surprising MOT fail comes from the fluid level of your windscreen wash, as 71% of UK drivers didn't realise running out of water in your screen wash bottle would count as a fail.

If it is too low and no water can spray out, then your tester may have no choice but to fail your car. Fluid costs on average £12 so make sure you keep some handy so you don't fall short at your MOT.

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