Cars are failing their first MoT for simple reasons that could be easily avoided such as excessive clutter or lack of screenwash, research has shown.
Buyer’s guide What Car? discovered that cars that had been put in for their first test constituted 10,753 of the 285,236 failures from August 2012 to August 2013 – almost four per cent of the total.
With MoTs costing an average of £45, it means that if none of those drivers were unable to take advantage of a free retest, they threw away a combined £483,885.
The top five basic reasons for an MoT test failure were: worn-out tyres; cars being excessively dirty or full of clutter; number plate damaged or dirty or having the incorrect font/spacing; obscured view for driver; dashboard warning light.
More than 4,600 cars taken for their first MoT were failed because the screenwash had not been topped up.
“There are some really simple things that every motorist can do to help a three-year-old car pass its first MoT test, but it’s amazing how many people don’t do them,” said What Car? consumer editor Emma Butcher.
“Most people probably don’t even realise that MoT testers can refuse to test your car if it’s too dirty or full of clutter.
“However, most know there are rules about having a standardised registration plate and yet we found 29 people whose car failed because their number plate was the wrong colour, and 114 who presented their car without a number plate at all.”
A total of 2,852 three-year-old cars were failed because they were in a filthy state, while nearly 800 were rejected because warning lights on the dash had been ignored.