Why your car will fail its MOT

BM8XYM Mechanic using electronic tools to evaluate car performance

You might think that if your car is relatively new, the MOT is a mere formality. You didn't fork out thousands of pounds just for your vehicle to start falling apart as soon as you got it on the road. However, research into cars facing their first MOT found that this is exactly what happens. It unearthed the things that were most likely to go wrong with the 20 most popular family cars - and revealed the cars most likely to fail their first MOT.

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The research, from comparison website Tootcompare.com, looked at 70 million cars manufactured in 2010 and tested for the first time in 2013, and discovered that one in five cars actually failed their first test.

Most common reasons to fail

The most likely reason for failure is that one or more of the lights isn't working, or it's not correctly aligned. This affects a shocking 38% of cars.The second most common problem is that the tyres have worn down below the legal minimum.

Number three on the list is that the driver's view of the road is obscured - which usually means a problem with the windscreen wipers. And number four was brakes - which may have been worn through over-use.

Chief executive of TootCompare Douglas Rotberg told the Daily Mail that the top three reasons for failure at least were entirely avoidable. He said: "The majority of items in the top three failure categories are relatively basic maintenance items. All should be picked up by regular maintenance, and many could be detected by the owner by a very simple walk-around inspection of the car."

To make matters worse, earlier this month, What Car discovered that thousands of cars were failing because the owners hadn't topped up the screenwash, cleared the clutter in the car or paid attention to warning lights which were illuminated on the dashboard.

Likely to fail?

In terms of the cars most likely to give drivers trouble, the cars most likely to fail their test were the Volkswagen Passat (only 76% of which passed first time), the Vauxhall Zafira and the Mini Hatchback (both at 78%) and the Ford Mondeo at 79%.

The Passat and Zafira followed the usual pattern of being most likely to fail on the grounds of lights, then tyres and then view of the road. The Zafira also had problems with its brakes - responsible for 11% of failures. The Mini Hatchback was most likely to fail on lights, but suffered a particular problem with the view of the road. And the Ford Mondeo's weaknesses were overwhelmingly lights and tyres.

Some of the more highly powered cars suffered particularly bad wear to the tyres. Some 43% of the failures of the Audi A3 were due to over-worn tyres, and 39% of the BMW 1 Series' failures were caused by this too.

Meanwhil,e those most likely to pass first time were the Land Rover Freelander (with 90% passing first time), followed by the Mercedes E-Class at 86%, and the Renault Scenic, the Hyundai 110 and the Audi A3 (all at 85%).

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Why your car will fail its MOT

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Dacia has made a big impact in the UK with its line of affordable motors.
The Sandero is the foundation of the brand's offering and is famed for being the UK's cheapest car.

With a group two insurance classification it's also one of the cheapest cars to insure right now.
The entry level Access model is sparsely equipped, but it has a practical interior, big boot and low running costs.

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The Seat Mii is a small city car which Auto Express praises for its spacious interior, good build quality and supple ride.

All models are in insurance group one, bar the group two Sport version.
The Mii is available in three-door or five-door styles, but both measure just 3.5 metres, making it perfect for getting around town.

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The Skoda Citigo was crowned Auto Express Best City Car 2013.

The magazine praised its low running costs and practicality as well as its grown up driving experience.
Like its Mii stable mate the Citigo has group one insurance in all apart from its top specification model, making it one of the cheapest cars to insure.

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The third of the Volkswagen's group of three city cars to make the list is the Up!

Auto Express says the Up! was 'born to rule' city streets with its small dimensions and lightweight body.
There's three versions of this fun city car; Take Up! has a group one rating as does Move Up! while the higher spec High Up! gets a group two classification.

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The Hyundai i10 is another car which can get you a cheap insurance quote thanks to a group one insurance rating across all the 1.0-litre petrol models.

Auto Express says the new 2014 i10 offers big car features in a small package. And for £8,345 you also get Hyundai's five-year warranty and roadside assistance package.

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Vauxhall has managed to squeeze one of its full sized Corsas into insurance group two.
Auto Express says the 1.0-litre ecoFlex model has the lowest insurance costs of any mainstream supermini.

The eye-catching design, solid interior and big-car features make it an appealing buy for drivers.

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The Smart car caused a bit of a stir when it first appeared thanks to its dinky dimensions and bold two-seat layout, making it very useful for driving about town and absurdly easy to park.

The Smart ForTwo is the latest incarnation, which keeps to the same formula; it still has only two seats and is one of the smallest cars on the road measuring just 2.5 metres long,
The entry level 0.8- and 1.0-litre models qualify for group two insurance.

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The Peugeot Partner Tepee 1.6 VTi is the passenger version of the Partner van and according to Auto Express easily the most spacious new car that currently qualifies for a group two insurance rating.

It's got a boxy shape that provides plenty of room and has sliding doors which make it a very practical and flexible family car.

If you're after something smaller the Peugeot Bipper Tepee, which is the smallest of Peugeot's family of Tepee MPVs, also gets a group two insurance rating.


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