Thousands of car owners fail MOT tests because their vehicles are filthy, full of clutter or lack screen-wash, a new survey has found.
According to the Whatcar research, test centres are also failing vehicles because they have windscreen stickers that obscure the view from the driver's seat, while some cars fail to pass because they are without any number plates.
There were 285,000 MOT test failures between August 2012 and last August, some 4,649 of which were put down to vehicles not being topped up with enough screen-wash.
Another 2,852 vehicles failed because of dirt or clutter, 1,055 did not pass because of stickers on their windscreens, and 114 failures were because vehicles had no number plates.
Of the total number of failures, 10,753 or 4% were first tests.
As they typically cost around £45, Whatcar estimates that car owners wasted £480,000 on failed first tests, adding to the costs of motoring.
RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: "If your vehicle is due for an MOT test there are a few simple checks and fixes you can carry out yourself to reduce the chances of it failing and incurring extra expense.
"We recommend anyone who needs to get an MOT on their vehicle spends some time in advance checking that tyres are in good condition, with more than 1.6mm of tread, that indicators, headlights and brake lights are all working properly, that the windscreen is not damaged in any way, and that wipers are in good order.
"Horns also have to be working, and you can even fail an MOT for not having any screen-wash or your number plate not being clearly visible.
He added: "Why not take a look at our MOT test checklist and advice by visiting https://www.racshop.co.uk/mot-check/mot-test-checklist-advice.html."
Copyright Press Association 2014