Car in MOT test bay

What are the most common reasons for an MOT test fail?

Many vehicle owners worry about the annual MOT test and whether their vehicle will pass – and at what cost! Many people are unaware if what is tested by the MOT test and what may cause a fail outcome.

What is an MOT Test?

An MOT is a mandatory check that examines the safety and roadworthiness of a vehicle. The standards required are outlined by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). Cars are required to have an annual MOT test once they are 3 years old.

Approximately 70% of cars tested pass the MOT test* – but what are the most common reasons for an MOT Test fail?

The MOT Stats results show that between 5th December 2019 and 4th December 2020 over 26 million car MOT tests were carried out with the most frequent cause for failure being either a faulty suspension pin, bush, joint or bearing excessively worn.

Pre-MOT Motorist Checks

A faulty or damaged suspension component is a job for a professional mechanic; however there are a number of simple checks that can be completed by the motorist prior to an MOT test to avoid unnecessary MOT failure. These checks should also be carried out throughout the year to ensure a safe and roadworthy vehicle.


MOT failures due to broken bulbs are common. Before an MOT it is sensible to check all lights are functioning. Ask a friend to check brake lights are working as they should. This is a useful test to complete not just before an MOT test.

Tyre Tread

Tyres are a common MOT test failure with motorists continuing to drive cars with less than the legally required tread depth. Please see this Premier Group blog article for more details on ‘how to check the tread on your tyres for safe motoring. New tyres start at 8mm of tread with a minimum leagal depth of 1.6mm. Please check your tyres regularly for condition, tread depth and pressure.

Book Your MOT

Please call Premier Group to book your MOT on Cannock (01543) 426378. MOT tests available for all makes and models with the Premier service for all.

  • Figures quoted are from