Testing times: how to avoid MOT palaver

Did you know that just 75 per cent of vans pass their first Ministry of Transport test at three years, with lighting, brakes and tyres the most common causes for failure?

The three-year MOT exemption for the first test for cars and vans was introduced in 1967. In recent Government MOT test data for 2017, it shows that a quarter of a million vans had their first test, with 61,000 failing due to potentially dangerous defects. Since the new stricter regulations for passing came into effect last year the figures for 2018 may be higher.

MOT checking suspension

One of the reasons vans have a poorer MOT pass rate is because they are work much harder and driven over much great distances. MOT test data shows that a typical van clocks up 47,000 miles by the time it has its first test at three years, while the average car has covered 26,000 miles over the same period of time. As a result, 86 per cent of three-year-old cars will pass the first MOT – a figure that’s significantly better than similar aged vans.

The number of vans in the UK has boomed by 75 per cent over the past 20 years with a record four million on the road today. This is due to Britain’s love for online shopping, that the van market is on the rise, with the home delivery market accounting for one in every five pounds spent in retail.

Top five causes of failure during a van’s first MOT at three years

  • Lamps, reflectors and electrical equipment – 36,660 yearly failures
  • Driver’s view of the road – 14,056 yearly failures
  • Brakes – 13,190 yearly failures
  • Tyres – 10,605 yearly failures
  • Suspension – 6551 yearly failures

Basic routines to avoid a MOT fail

If you maintain your vehicle correctly during the year MOT time will not be as much as an issue, remember a failure means you are driving around in a vehicle that fails to meet the recommended ‘minimum’ safety standard and that is not how a fleet manager operates. Here are some tips to help avoid failing a MOT

MyService.Expert lady mechanic
  • Check your lights. This easily slips through the net becoming a thing that we look at but do not actually see when it needs replacing. Tap each light to make sure there’s not a loose connection which might appear at the test. Most bulbs are easy to change but you will probably need to look in the handbook to find out how to get at them. Don’t forget to check the headlamp washers if you have xenon (HID) or LED headlamps, if these are not working the vehicle will fail the test
  • Try and get into the routine of checking your tyres. This would be for bulges and cuts as well as plenty of tread. Uneven wear means they are at the wrong pressure or the wheels are not aligned properly – get this fixed before the tyres are changed otherwise the new ones will wear out prematurely
  • Handle your wipers with care. Top up the washer fluid, then operate the washers and wipers. If the wipers leave lines on the screen or scrape over the water without clearing it, they need replacing although you could try cleaning them with methylated spirit first
  • We understand that you may be busy but try not to leave it until the last minute. You can submit your vehicle for a check up to a month before the old certificate runs out. This also gives you enough time to make any corrections should there an issue.
  • Make a check list. Having a checklist sounds simple but allows you to remember little things that you need that may have slipped off the radar. Try to read the comments after whether you pass or fail. Prevention is better than cure

Expert support from MyService.Expert

At Fuel Card Services, we make the whole process of vehicle responsibility easier. We have built up a network of garages that offer the best in terms of quality, standards, and customer service and call it MyService.Expert.

Our relationship with these dealer groups means we can offer you a full choice of service with top garages who have made genuine investment in delivering high standards of service through the hands of highly-skilled technicians.

It is simple to join MyService.Expert and free to register your vehicles, plus you get many more benefits.

The benefits of joining MyService.Expert

Here is how it works: One of your vehicles is due for a service. MyService.Expert will send you an alert, then provide discounted costs from garages near you. You compare and select. We pay the garage and then invoice you. Easy.

The benefits of joining do not end there: Fuel Card Services’ partnership with these experts means you typically save 30% on work in comparison to going direct to a franchise dealer

There is no joining fee, and no minimum contract to register your vehicles online. In addition there is no minimum number of cars, vans or HGVs that can be added.

Simplify your vehicle maintenance by booking work via the online portal. Here you can job authorise and pre-negotiate discount rates that cover servicing, repairs and maintenance. It also includes tyre replacement or repairs

The costings are transparent, based upon thorough working knowledge and up-to-date automotive data. Plus all genuine parts and repairs are protected under warranty.

All costs need your online approval before work begins. Doing this action is easy, MyService.Expert is accessible anywhere and at anytime on a WiFi connected device.

Just like your Fuel Card Services provides visible costings to keeping your business moving with fuel; think of MyService.Expert as your vehicle maintenance expense solution.

Visit MyService.Expert today or call 0844 134 0746

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