First MoT test - most common reasons for failure

* 33% of three-year old cars fail the first MoT due to worn tyres * More than 42,000 cars had brakes too worn to meet the standard * 4600 cars failed test due to lack of windscreen washer f...

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What Car? Staff
12 March 2016

First MoT test - most common reasons for failure

The majority of three-year old cars pass their first MoT without problems, but not all of them. 

We've listed the ten most common faults which lead to three-year old cars failing their first MoT test. As you might expect, the majority are wear-related items, with worn tyres, brakes and wipers all featuring heavily. 

Lighting problems are the second most common with a lack of windscreen washer fluid being perhaps the silliest reason to fail the annual inspection.

Most common reasons for first MoT failures

1. Tyre tread depth below the legal 1.6mm limit  - 33.28% (94,927 cars)

2. Brake pads less than 1.5mm thick - 10.04% (28,638 cars)

3. Headlamp aim too high/ low - 6.73% (19,196 cars)

4. Brake discs are seriously weakened - 4.94% (14,091 cars)

5. Wipers don’t clear the windscreen effectively 3.93% (11,210 cars)

6. Windscreen is damaged 3.64% (10,383 cars)

7. Registration plate deteriorated or faded 2.17% (6190 cars)

8. Registration plate lamp not working 1.77% (5049 cars)

9. Brake lights not working 1.64% (4678 cars)

10. Washers provide insufficient liquid 1.63% (4649 cars)

To check which cars had the best and worst chance of passing their inaugral MoT test, take a look at our MoT test tool. This lets you look up car makes and models to see the percentage that passed the test first time, and what the most common failure points were.