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Broken lights lead to 5.8m failed MOTs

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Broken headlights and indicators top the reasons why UK cars fail MOT tests (14%), followed by illegal tyres (12%), damaged exhausts (8%) and substandard brakes (7%), according to new research from Allianz Insurance, one of the largest motor insurers in the UK.

Allianz is calling for drivers to undertake regular vehicle maintenance as opposed to relying on the annual MOT test. Car tyres can be deemed illegal if there are irregularities such as bumps, low pressure or faded tread. Drivers should also be aware that ineffective brakes can include broken brake lights, worn brake pads and loose handbrakes.

The average cost of getting vehicles back onto the road after failing an MOT test has risen by nearly 10% on last year to £200. Despite high costs for car repairs and the safety risks associated with not regularly checking vehicles, a third of drivers (33%) do nothing to prepare their car for an MOT test. This figure is up from last year (27%), implying that car safety is slipping down motorists’ priorities.

Jon Dye, UK chief executive said, “We all want our roads to be as safe as possible and a lot can happen to a vehicle’s roadworthiness in between MOT tests.  In particular, tyres and brakes should be maintained in the best possible condition as defects in either could cause an accident.”

Allianz Insurance offers the following maintenance tick list this Car Care Week:

  • Lights – Ask someone to spot check your headlights, indicators and reverse lights to see if any bulbs have blown that need to be replaced.
  • Tyres - Ensure all tyres are compatible, of the right pressure and tread, and look for any irregularities such as cuts, tears, lumps and bumps.
  • Brakes – When braking, if the car makes unusual noises or steers to the side, take your car to the garage. Flush and replace brake fluid every two years but if you notice brake line fluid falling, check for cracks in the car’s cylinder that will need to be addressed.
  • Exhaust – Report any excess smoke emitted from the tailpipe to the garage. Even if no smoke is being emitted, motorists can get exhausts checked for free from selected garages for peace of mind.

The top four reasons UK vehicles fail MOT tests according to the research from Allianz Insurance are:

  1. Headlights / indicators didn’t work (14%)
  2. Illegal tyres (12%)
  3. Damaged exhaust (8%)
  4. Brakes (7%)

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