Why your 2005 registered car may fail its MOT

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) motoring trust has found that 21.6 per cent of cars (or one in every five) submitted for a first MOT test fails.

The main reason for cars failing their MOTs are lighting or signalling failures – which should be covered by the new car warranty – which has lead to the 2007 IAM Trust survey questioning whether garages are carrying out the three-year service after the MOT, costing the motorist extra in repairs.

"The high UK failure rates may argue against relaxing our MOT testing regime from three to four years [the European minimum]on road-safety grounds. But do we have the full picture?" said Neil Greig, IAM Trust Director.

"A Treasury-sponsored review in 2006 suggested that the UK practice of ‘gold plating’ the European minimum for roadworthiness testing was costing motorists £465 million a year. Do manufacturers’ service schedules not cover all the points needed to pass a MoT test – if not, why?"

Germany and Austria also exceed the EU requirement by testing after three years, not four, but their test failure rates are lower than ten per cent – Germany’s is lower than 5 per cent. Only Spain’s test failure rate, measured after four years, is higher than in the UK – at 32 per cent.

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