More than 2.5 million vehicles fail their MOT each year in the UK, not because they are too old or have been in an accident, but because owners are failing to carry out basic care.

This latest revelation around UK car ownership comes as a result of a Freedom of Information request by to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

Drivers not making simple checks

The DVSA’s data showed that of the 7.3 million MOT failures recorded in 2017 – the last full year for available statistics – as many as 2.5 million could have been avoided if motorists had carried out some basic checks before bringing in their vehicle. These checks included looking at their lights, brakes, tyres, suspension and windscreen before the test.

First on the list for avoidable failures was incorrect headlamp aim (976,569). This was followed by poor braking performance (921,534) and broken registration plate lamps (912,246).

Basic maintenance saves lives and money

Daniel Powell, managing editor of, said: “Britain’s roads are among the safest in Europe, but some drivers are putting themselves and others at risk by failing to perform even the most basic of car maintenance tasks.”

Mr Powell went on to add that many of the problems highlighted can be corrected with some simple driver maintenance. It’s simply a matter of more people being aware of these issues and the importance of completing regular vehicle checks.

Heather Stark, brand manager at The Fuelcard People, comments: “Carrying out basic maintenance on your vehicle is something every driver should know how to do. It not only means cars are safer when taking to the roads, but it can cut the costs of unnecessary MOT failures and the need for repairs.”

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