MOT warning – 1 in 4 drivers risking a fine by ignoring mechanics’ warnings

MOT warning – 1 in 4 drivers risking a fine by ignoring mechanics’ warnings
MOT warning – 1 in 4 drivers risking a fine by ignoring mechanics’ warnings

As many as a quarter of drivers are risking a fine for failing to heed advisory warnings on their car’s MOT.

New research has found that one in four cars leaves the garage after an MOT with at least one minor fault.

Under changes to the MOT introduced in 2018, any fault deemed major or dangerous is an immediate fail, while cars with minor faults will still pass the test and are road legal.

However, drivers are advised by the tester to address any minor fault quickly and failing to do so could land them in trouble with the police if the fault becomes worse.

Braking bad

According to data gathered by Protyre, one in six cars leave the garage with a warning that its tyres or brakes will soon need attention.

While it is legal to drive a car with tyres or brakes nearing the end of their life, prolonged use like this can push them beyond legal limits, make them unsafe and leave you open to fines of up to £2,500 and penalty points.

If police catch you driving on tyres which have worn beyond the 1.6mm legal minimum you can be fined £2,500 per tyre as well as receiving three penalty points for each faulty tyre.

tyre
It doesn’t take long for a tyre to go from a minor fault to having illegally low tread. (Picture: Shuttertstock)

Read more: How to spot danger signs with your car tyres

Other failings can also see you fined up to £2,500 and given penalty points for using a vehicle in an unsafe condition.

Warnings about suspension components were the second most common (one in seven), hinting at possibly serious failures in the near future. Suspension problems are also the second most common reason for an MOT refusal, behind problems with lighting.

The study found that a single advisory was most common but 12 per cent of drivers left the garage with two or more outstanding issues and four per cent had more than three.

Warning signs

Protyre’s national retail operations manager, David Sholicar, said: “Most drivers breathe a sigh of relief when their car passes its MOT, but the advisories are a warning that your vehicle could still become unroadworthy in a matter of weeks if you ignore them.

Read more: New MOT certificate service could save drivers £6 million a year

“For example, a tyre advisory could be because the tread is nearing the 1.6mm minimum depth, or the tyres may have cracking due to the tyres age, or a brake advisory could be because the brakes are nearing the wear limit, or showing signs of deterioration – potentially posing a safety risk to you and your passengers.

“Despite poor tyre maintenance and faulty brakes being the top two most common reasons for vehicle accidents in Britain, they are the most common advisory for cars that pass their MOTs. Some research even suggests that as much as half of British drivers even ignore warnings of a faulty car part until payday.”

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