MOT test stations could be in for a busy autumn with more than 10 million cars due an annual check-up in the final few months of the year. That’s according to the AA, which is advising drivers to ensure they get a slot with their local test station by booking their car in early ahead of a “frantic fall” period.

The AA is also urging drivers to ensure they check their vehicle over before presenting it at an MOT test, as it says the top reasons for MOT failures are defects that “can be easily and cheaply spotted and repaired”. According to the company’s own data for the 2021/22 financial year, issues with headlights, reflectors and electrical equipment were the most common causes of MOT failures, flagged on almost 3.75 million failed tests.

Problems with suspension, brakes and tyres rounded out the top four causes of MOT failures, while visibility defects completed the top five. However, it seems motorists expect tyre-related problems to be the most common faults.

MOT testing station sign in the UK

In the AA’s poll of more than 13,000 drivers, two-fifths of respondents (43 percent) said they thought tyres were the most common cause of MOT failures. And those same drivers were asked how many vehicles fail their MOT, with the average answer being 39 percent.

Despite this, the AA’s figures suggest the truth is somewhat less concerning. Of the vehicles presented at the AA’s approved garages in 2021/22, three in 10 (29 percent) initially failed their MOT.

AA Approved Garages managing director Penny Stoolman said the rush for MOT tests could leave drivers struggling to find slots at their local test centre, and she urged motorists to book early to stay on the right side of the law.

“With more than 10 million MOT tests due to take place across ‘Frantic Fall’, the scramble for slots could be chaotic,” she said. “Drivers who have an MOT due should book early to avoid stress.

“With household budgets stretched, drivers may be tempted to leave repairs on their car until the last possible moment or wait for the MOT to spot faults. But with colder, wetter weather due in the coming months leaving blown bulbs, torn tyres and cracked windscreens unrepaired could cause more damage to both the car and the wallet. Interestingly, drivers think more vehicles initially fail the MOT than in reality.”

MOT test