Are drivers putting safety second?

New findings demonstrate the UK MOT failure rate at nearly 40%, despite the main issues being simple and cheap to fix.

A UK leading car warranty provider, Warranty Direct, has analysed MOT and vehicle testing data from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) and claims on over 40,000 of its own live policies, to reveal how much the most common MOT issues are costing UK drivers.

It has been found that 36.8% of class three and four vehicles (including cars and vans) failed MOTs last year. The faults which caused the majority of failures were lighting and signalling issues, suspensions and brakes. Lighting and signalling defects were the most common reasons for MOT failures across the UK (19%).

Electrical faults (which incorporate lighting and signalling issues) also made up nearly 20% of all Warranty Direct’s authorised claims. According to Warranty Direct, the vehicles which experienced the most electrical issues last year include Renault (38%), Seat (30%), Bentley (29%), Ford (24%) and Mitsubishi (23%).

While the electrical improvements of newer cars can enhance automotive performance and safety, they can cause more failures due to the complex nature of parts. However, many smaller electrical faults could be avoided by owners carrying out consistent maintenance tasks more regularly between MOTs.  It is concerning that many British motorists willingly take risks and drive vehicles with dangerous faults on the roads when many of these issues are easily carried out and cheap to fix.

The second-most common cause for MOT failures were suspension faults, which accounted for 13% of tests where defects were found. Axle and suspension issues were another major source of claims. Braking systems were the third biggest reason for cars not passing MOTs across the UK, making up 10% of all failure rates. Warranty Direct, on average, paid £369.15 for authorised claims made against braking systems.

Despite the expense of such issues, avoiding paying out for repairs on brakes is one of the most dangerous decisions a car owner can make. The Department of Transport reported that 1,131 accidents were caused by defective vehicles, of which nearly a third were caused by unsafe brakes (364).

Simon Ackers, CEO of Warranty Direct, said, ‘The most recent high MOT failure rates are of significant concern. The results indicate a large proportion of drivers are not taking the necessary safety measures when it comes to their vehicles, these costs could also be avoided with the purchase of an extended warranty, which covers failures to insured vehicle parts that are found during a service or MOT test.’