Drivers warned of ‘silly’ mistakes that can lead to MOT failure – ‘Extremely important!’

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Motorists across the UK have been urged by experts to carry out several “essential” checks before putting their cars through an MOT check. This is because there are several small issues that might be overlooked and result in failure.

These include dangling air fresheners that might be too big and cause an obstruction, number plate lights that aren’t working, weak seatbelts and even not having enough screenwash.

Motoring experts from and its sister site have, therefore, put together a list of pre-MOT checks that drivers should follow.

A spokesman from said: “The time of the year when an MOT is due is one of the most nerve-wracking moments for drivers.

“It’s extremely important to carry out unusual checks such as removing an air freshener and checking reversing lights, to make sure everything is in top form.

“We wanted to offer these useful tips to help drivers make these checks, which they may not have thought of before sending the car off for inspection.”

The pre-MOT checks include:

Number plate lights

It’s a legal requirement to have fully functioning licence plate lights, so police, other road users and speed cameras can easily identify a car. Drivers should double-check this issue even before an MOT is due, as it can lead to a fixed penalty fine.

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Frayed seat belts

Over time it’s common for seat belts to become frayed, but it becomes an extremely dangerous problem once the condition worsens. If they aren’t clicking in or they come out once pulled hard, then a failure is imminent.

Fill up on screenwash

One of the most unthought-of checks to make before an MOT is checking the amount of screenwash in the car. It’s an easy failure, but there’s also a simple solution to the problem. Motorists should simply purchase a ready-to-use screenwash and fill up the fluid bottle.

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Reversing lights

Added in 2018, vehicles used from September 2009 must have working reversing lights otherwise it will lead to a failed MOT. Some road users are unaware of this new rule change, so drivers should make sure to test the bulbs.

Rubber seal on fuel cap

A strong smell of petrol and a cap which won’t seal means it’s likely that the fuel cap is worn out. Drivers should check the condition of their fuel cap when filling up the car.

Remove the air freshener

It’s an interior addition that many drivers opt for. However, it’s best to remove the dangling air freshener when it’s time for the test. Technically, it can be seen as blocking the driver’s view and obstruction of vision can lead to an automatic failure.

Cracks on the number plate

Drivers need to check for all the minor details to get their car to pass an MOT and one of them is noticeable cracks on the number plate. One crack covering a letter on the plate can be the break or make between a pass and a fail.

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