Maintenance ignorance costing drivers £326 each at MOT time

Maintenance ignorance costing drivers £326 each at MOT time
Maintenance ignorance costing drivers £326 each at MOT time

MOT failures are costing British drivers hundreds of pounds each year, despite some of the problems being simple at-home fixes.

Drivers in the UK spend an average of £272 to fix faults highlighted by the annual roadworthiness test, which itself costs £54.85.

Yet many of these are problems that could be identified and put right at home.

Quick fix

Government data shows that issues with lightbulbs account for 30 per cent of all MOT failures. A few minutes spent checking and replacing bulbs before the test can help avoid the dreaded fail and save you money compared with how much a garage will charge for the work.

Read more: The quick MOT tips that will save you money at test time

Problems with tyres account for another 10 per cent of all fails. While replacing a worn tyre on the driveway might be beyond many drivers a quick check before putting the car forward for its MOT could save time and money by giving you the chance to find a better price for a replacement.

The minimum legal tread depth is 1.6mm, which can be checked using a tyre gauge or the 20p method – the coin’s outer grove shouldn’t be visible when inserted into the tread.

MOT costs
Worn tyres are relatively easy to spot and have put right before MOT time. Picture: Shuttestock

Since May 2018 tyres have also been checked for under-inflation at test time. Despite it being a simple two-minute job, over a quarter (27 per cent) of drivers polled by the Good Garage Scheme have no idea how to test their tyre pressure and a 29 per cent claimed not to know how to pump up their tyres.

Other common failures relate to the driver’s view of the road, including issues with mirrors, wipers and washers. A quick top-up of fluid and check that mirrors and wipers are in good condition could save the hassle and cost of a refusal from the MOT tester.

Philip Dugmore, technical manager at the Good Garage Scheme, said: “If drivers kept a closer eye on their cars they can avoid a hefty payout to pass a second MOT.

“Simple things like learning how to check the oil and top it up – checking your tyre pressure regularly and making sure all your lights are working can keep your car ticking over and far more likely to pass its MOT first time round.”

Forty-three per cent of drivers said they had owned a car that failed its MOT and more than two in five (46%) have struggled to scrape the cash together to get their motor back on the road.

A separate study by repair marketplace WhoCanFixMyCar.com found that almost half (47 per cent) of drivers would consider going into debt just to keep their car on the road.

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