Take a ‘Minute or Two’ to prevent MOT failure

4th April 2013

Research from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) shows that approximately 1.5 million MOT failures a year could be avoided if motorists paid more attention to small issues with their vehicle as they came up. In an effort to reduce the exceptionally high MOT failure rate, all carmakers in the UK have united to promote frequent vehicle checks.

Annual MOT tests are conducted to assess whether or not a vehicle meets government safety and environmental standards (in a nutshell, whether it’s roadworthy or not). Motorists can avoid a test failure by giving their vehicle adequate care and fixing small problems before they become big issues. However, a majority of drivers simply wait until their annual check comes along before they pay any mind to things that require their attention.

In order to change the attitude regarding year-round car care, 5,545 UK car dealers are emphasising how quick and easy it is to check vehicles for damage and ensure they’re running at full capacity. Their campaign encourages drivers to take a ‘Minute or Two’ to perform a 10-step pre-MOT checklist which will ultimately save motorists time, money and a lot of hassle.

SMMT interim chief executive, Mike Baunton, said: “The message we are keen to get across to motorists is that an MOT fail could very easily be avoided if a simple visual check is carried out beforehand”. He added: “We would encourage the simple checks to be conducted regularly between MOT tests to ensure the vehicle is safe”.

The ‘Minute or Two’ DIY inspection begins with a visual check of headlights and indicators. Motorists should ensure all lights – headlights, sidelights, rear lights, hazard lights and indicators are properly functional.

Brake lights should be checked as well, by performing an at-home test to make sure they’re working.

SMMT advises motorists to check their number plate while they’re at it, ensuring it’s clean and legible. Spacing and font must comply with legal requirements.

Wheels and tyres should be closely examined for damage. Drivers should check that tread depth meets MOT standards, across at least three-quarters of the width of the tyre.

Seats and seatbelts should be working properly and react to sudden, hard braking.

Windscreens should be undamaged, and wipers should be fully functional.

Lastly, motorists should top up their screenwash bottle, check their oil and give their horn a quick toot before driving off to their MOT test, knowing their chance of passing has greatly increased.

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