Overlooking your MOT renewal could cost you

MOTs are a regular occurrence for drivers. If you own a car over three years old, you’ll need to book one every 12 months. So why do so many motorists rely on luck for their vehicles to pass the statutory Government assessment?

According to a new report by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency, over 11 million drivers are ill prepared for their car’s MOT test, something that is costing motorists an estimated £1.44 billion per year nationwide.

It’s not good enough to rely on chance for your car to be passed as roadworthy – yet 23 per cent of car owners confess they keep their fingers crossed while 18 per cent say they give just their vehicle a cursory glance before submitting it for the test.

Really, there’s little excuse. Keeping on top of your vehicle’s condition and having routine maintenance performed on your car is simple and can help stop a problem developing, affecting other parts of a car making it costly to fix come MOT time.

Unassuming and seemingly trivial issues such as broken bulbs and worn tyres can be kept on top of with the minimum of fuss and cost – and if spotted early, help reduce the time your car spends off the road and the money needed to repair it.

Yet it’s just not being done. According to VOSA, 31 per cent and 20 per cent of MOT failures last year were as a result of light and signalling problems and bald tyres respectively – and aside from the inconvenience, imagine the waste of the MOT test fee here, with further expense needed to set things right.

The facts are stark: the majority of MOT failures originate from not checking simple things, which regular inspection and servicing would have flagged up.

It’s a growing trend, too. Failure rates of the MOT test in 2011 stood at 40 per cent, up from 37 per cent in 2009 – that’s 930,000 vehicles more.

With failed car’s now needing an average of £143 spent on them to pass the test, up from £82 just 18 months ago, it appears Britain’s motorists are becoming more lax in keeping their cars in top condition. And it’s costing them big…