Drivers warned of little-known errors that could lead to MOT failure

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Drivers have been warned of little-known errors that could lead to an MOT failure. Experts are urging motorists to remove things such as air fresheners before taking their cars for the annual test. 

The warning comes amid Britain experiencing its annual MOT chaos with over 10 million vehicles due in for the test between September and December. 

Motoring experts from and its sister site have put together a number of checks drivers should make to ensure their car passes the test.

The annual MOT is a big worry for drivers, as many fail on minor faults that they didn’t think to check before sending the car off to the garage.

Faulty number plate lights and having no washer fluid for the windscreen are among the different reasons why MOT test centres fail drivers.

A spokesman from said: “The time of the year when an MOT is due is one of the most nerve-wracking moments for drivers.

“It’s extremely important to carry out unusual checks such as removing an air freshener and checking reversing lights, to make sure everything is in top form.

“We wanted to offer these useful tips to help drivers make these checks, which they may not have thought of before sending the car off for inspection.”

Here are the tips from on the different checks drivers should make before an MOT:

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Number plate lights

It’s a legal requirement to have fully functioning licence plate lights, so police, other road users and speed cameras can easily identify a car.

Drivers should double-check this issue even before an MOT is due, as it can lead to a fixed penalty fine.

Frayed seat belts

Over time it’s common for seat belts to become frayed, but it becomes an extremely dangerous problem once the condition worsens.

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If they aren’t clicking in or they come out once pulled hard, then a failure is imminent.

Fill up on screenwash

One of the most unthought of checks to make before an MOT is checking the amount of screenwash in the car.

It’s an easy failure, but there’s also a simple solution by purchasing ready-to-use screenwash and filling up the fluid bottle.

Reversing lights

Added in 2018, vehicles used from September 2009 must have working reversing lights otherwise it will lead to a failed MOT.

Some road users are unaware of this new rule change, so drivers should make sure to test the bulbs.

Rubber seal on fuel cap

A strong smell of petrol and a cap which won’t seal means it’s likely the fuel cap is worn out.

Drivers should make sure to check the condition of their fuel cap when filling up the car and up towards the check date.

Remove the air freshener

It’s an interior addition that many drivers opt for, however, it’s best to remove the dangling air freshener when it’s time for the test.

Technically, it can be viewed as blocking the driver’s view and an obstruction of vision can lead to an automatic failure.

Cracks on the number plate

Drivers need to check for all the minor details to get their car to pass its MOT and one of them is noticeable cracks on the number plate.

One crack covering a letter on the plate can be the break or make between a pass and a fail.

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