Jun 042018

MOT’s are something we all dread as there always seems to be an issue which needs fixing. To try to lighten up this sore point for many motorists, we wanted to look at how our favourite fictional cars would fair against today’s MOT regulations.

We will be looking at vehicles such as Fred Flintstone’s foot mobile. While it may work well in the animated series, we can see some serious issues. Whether it’s the huge hole in the floor or the lack of tread on the tyres, Fred’s going to find himself without a car unless he gets those issues fixed!

Jul 262017

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.

Nearly 40 percent (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, causing 19 percent of all failures.

Electrical faults (which incorporate lighting and signalling issues) also made up nearly 20 percent of all Warranty Direct’s authorised claims. According to Warranty Direct, the vehicle makes which experienced the most electrical issues last year were:

  Vehicle make Electrical Faults as Percentage of vehicle make Claims
1 Renault 38%
2 Seat 30%
3 Bentley 29%
4 Ford 24%
5 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.

For example: indicator, tail and brake lights can be fitted for as little as £5.00 each. It’s concerning that many British motorists willingly take risks and drive vehicles with dangerous faults on the roads when many of these issues are easily detectable and cheap to fix.

The second-most common cause for MOT failures were suspension faults, which accounted for 13 percent of tests where defects were found. Axle and suspension issues were another major source of claims for Warranty Direct.

Braking systems were the third biggest reason for cars not passing MOTs across the UK, making up 10 percent 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 in 2015, 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 commented on the latest findings, saying: “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.”

Jun 242015

story1Carrying out simple checks and basic driveway DIY could prevent 1.5 million MoT failures every year, according to Warranty Direct.

Research conducted by the leading used vehicle warranty provider indicates that doing basic maintenance and replacing some accessible car parts at home could slash the number of MoT failures recorded in the UK each year.

With a current national MoT failure rate of 39.52%** and a government set maximum MoT price of £54.85** there has never been a better time to undertake some driveway DIY.

Increasingly complex cars put many motorists off maintaining their own cars, but the list of simple jobs that can mean the difference between passing and failing an MoT includes changing light bulbs, replacing windscreen washer fluid and checking parts like wipers and tyres.

Warranty Direct managing director, David Gerrans, said: “It never ceases to amaze us how many MoT failures could be avoided with the simplest of pre-test checks. Things such as making sure there are no cracks in your number plate, your wheels and tyres are undamaged and ensuring there are no tears or holes in the windscreen wiper rubbers are all things the motorist can do at home, but if left to test day can be the cause of MoT failure.”

An empty screen wash container can also cause an MoT fail, as can blown headlights, sidelights, rear lights, hazard lights and indicators all of which could mean forking out for a re-test.

See the table below for the top 10 things a motorist should check before an impending MoT test.

For even the most anxious home mechanic, everyday actions, such as ensuring your vehicle is filled with enough fuel and engine oil, will ensure you are not turned away from an MoT for having insufficient levels of fluids required for testing.

*SMMT MoT Data
** MoT Angel Data


Mar 192014

PDFA crackdown on the removal of diesel particulate filters means from last month it will be an instant MOT failure. The Government’s move follows a spate of problems affecting DPFs on cars driving in urban areas. Broken DPFs have caused cars to enter ‘limp mode’ restricting acceleration. This has led some drivers to remove the DPFs. However, you can just clean it.

Roads Minister Robert Goodwill said: “I am very concerned that vehicles are being modified in a way that is clearly detrimental to people’s health and undoes the hard work car manufacturers have taken to improve emissions standards. It has become apparent the government had to intervene to clarify the position on particulate filter removal given the unacceptable negative impact on air quality. This change to the MOT tests makes it clear – if you have this filter removed from your car it will fail the test.”

Cataclean® corporate development director Graham Fraser said it is especially important to take notice of the Government MOT law change as March is traditionally the busiest time of the year for MOTs (see notes to editors 2).

“The key message to motorists is to take care of your DPF,” he said. “Removing the DPF is no longer an option and risks invalidating your car insurance, making your car illegal to drive. Cataclean® can provide a simple low cost solution. Providing it is used before the DPF has broken, and the vehicle is treated with Cataclean® once a quarter, it can prevent the DPF from becoming clogged. Cataclean® does this by cleaning the engine, lowering soot emissions, by up to 60pc, reducing the need for constant regeneration of the DPF.

“We would also emphasize that Cataclean® has other benefits for all diesel, petrol and hybrid cars and vans. It can reduce emissions by protecting your catalytic converter and also improve fuel efficiency and performance.”

Cataclean® comes in an easy to use 475ml bottle designed to pour into a fuel tank. It can be bought for around £16 at all good motor factors including Euro Car Parts, Culmac (in North West region) GSF, Jim Barrow (in North West region), CES (UK) Ltd, Andrew Page as well as Halfords stores and Halfords autocentres.


Under EU legislation, any diesel motor produced after 2008 should have a DPF fitted as standard. It works as a filter to trap harmful particles and soot, preventing them from escaping and therefore reducing carbon emissions by up to 80%.

Diesel cars most affected by problems are those which spend their time in congested, urban areas. DPFs have a self-cleansing process built into the software of the car, so after a long journey, or on a motorway drive, they are meant to regenerate and re-cleanse. However, if the car spends a lot of time performing short journeys, the DPFs can become clogged because the regeneration process does not have time to initiate. This can lead to cars entering ‘limp home mode’ whereby they will not accelerate very quickly or even become speed restricted.

If a DPF fails it can leave drivers with hefty, four-figure bills for a replacement.

A recent report on BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours said fuel companies and motor manufacturers had been compiling details of DPF problems. The UK Petroleum Industry Association and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders told the BBC online: “We are aware that motorists in some parts of the UK have experienced incidences of diesel fuel filter blocking problems.  There is no pattern in fuel retail outlet, age, type or brand of vehicle, or the age of the filter affected.  We are actively investigating the situation, through British Standards Institution, to achieve a swift resolution and limit any inconvenience to affected customers.”

The Downstream Fuel Association, which represents organisations throughout the supply chain, from storage to the forecourt, told BBC online it was also involved. It added the investigation was open to all lines of inquiry and it was premature to draw any firm conclusions at this stage.

The Daily Mail reported that the AA says that it is regularly called out to deal with cars with the particulate filter light on – indicating a partial blockage of the filter.

Jun 222011

Car MOTSuspension component failures are the ‘three-year glitch’ most likely to cause a car to fail its first MOT, according to Warranty Direct.

The automotive insurance specialist analysed thousands of three and four-year old cars and found that the average repair cost for cars typically leaving their manufacturer warranty period is £338.

Last month, Warranty Direct launched an initiative to offer drivers of three-year old cars their first MOT test fee, costing just under £55, for free by registering at www.warrantydirect.co.uk/firstmotfree.

The safety-critical ABS braking system is the second most likely part to cause extra expense at the first MOT, costing £667 to fix. The turbocharger – fitted to nearly all diesel and many petrol cars – is the most costly repair item on the list, coming in at more than £750.

It’s not only complex systems that suffer premature failure – parts of the exhaust can break or wear out when a car is still comparatively young.

Parts most likely to fail between years three and four


Part Description

Ave cost (£)


Springs & Shocks



ABS System



Upper & Lower Arms






Exhaust System


Warranty Direct managing director, Duncan McClure Fisher, said: “A car’s first MOT is a milestone in its life and memorable but not always for the right reasons.

“Three years is the age at which cars usually lose their manufacturer cover and it’s no accident that it’s also typically when some parts start wearing out.

“It’s also no surprise that a car’s springs and shock absorbers are the first items to go wrong, given the shocking state of the UK’s roads.”

By registering at least 30 days before the third anniversary of the car’s original registration date at www.warrantydirect.co.uk/firstmotfree, vehicles can be booked into one of 550 Kwik Fit workshops for a free MOT.