Lamps, reflectors and electrical equipment top the list of MoT defects with them being flagged on almost 3.75 million failed tests, analysis suggests.

Suspension, brakes, tyres and visibility defects completed the top five MoT failures, according to MOT data examined by AA Approved Garages.

False impressions

September to December is a busy time for MoT testing stations. This is because of the regular new registrations period and their anniversary. More than 10 million car, van and minibus MoTs are expected to take place throughout the autumn.

In a poll of more than 13,000 drivers, two fifths (43%) believed the main reason for MOT failure was due to tyres related damage.

Similarly, drivers were asked what they believed the initial MoT failure rate was, with the average answer being 39%.

However, analysis by AA Approved Garages reveals that three-in-10 (29%) cars, vans and minibuses initially failed their MoT.

September surge

Garages will see a forecasted 3.27 million vehicles for MoTs in September, compared with 2.64 million in the same month four years ago in 2018. The figures have increase partly due to the suspension of MoT testing during Covid lockdowns.

With many businesses forced to hang onto ageing vehicles for longer. This is in part due to current new vehicle shortages, and part due to financial constraints. It comes as fleets are already under rising pressure to be more vigilant about vehicle maintenance and repair.

Tip top, top tip

Unexpected mechanical failures, especially from older models, can put a serious dent in profits when it comes to business downtime if vehicles are required to be off the road for a significant period of time.

Both private and commercial vehicle maintenance is believed to have been cut back due to the ongoing cost of living crisis. Commentators are worried this will lead to road safety issues through mechanical defects and vehicles breaking down on the roadside.

Regular maintenance and servicing is widely accepted to reduce expensive repairs, MoT failures and danger of being stranded on the roadside.

Top 5 MoT failures

Rank Reason for MoT failure Number of failed tests defect showed
1 Lamps, reflectors and electrical equipment 3,731,659
2 Suspension 2,947,006
3 Brakes 2,231,313
4 Tyres 1,998,110
5 Visability 1,611,373