Check your tyres to avoid costly a costly MOT failure, says Which?

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If you want to cut your motoring costs, one way is to make sure you do everything possible to get your car through its MOT as cheaply as possible. To help you do this the motoring experts at Which? have come up with a list of basic checks you can carry out yourself, including making sure your tyres are safe and legal, to help your car pass first time.

Which? has produced its guide because garages can charge up to £54.85 for an MOT test and, according to recent statistics, up to 40% of cars in the UK fail their MOT test, which means you can incurr extra costs having your vehicle re-tested, not to mention paying over the odds for your new tyres or basic repairs which you could have done yourself.

Tyres are a common cause of MOT failure, but many of the problems are quick and easy to put right before the test. Car tyres must be the right type and size. If you have fitted a space-saver spare tyre onto one of your wheels, replace it with a standard tyre before the test.

Check that all your tyres have a tread depth of at least 1.6mm right the way around and across the central three-quarters of the pattern. Look for significant lumps or cuts in the sidewall.

Although spare tyres aren’t checked as part of the MOT test, those stored externally will need to be fastened securely.

Other areas to spend a few minutes focusing on include lights, wipers and windscreen, registration plate, doors, vehicle structure and under the bonnet. To read the full list and how to carry out the checks go to

If your car has failed and needs work doing on it, you’re allowed one free MOT retest – as long as your car doesn’t leave the MOT test centre, Which? explains, although for some failure points, such as emissions or headlight aim, you can take your car elsewhere to be repaired. In this case, you will still be entitled to a free partial MOT test, provided that you return to the original test centre before the end of the next working day. If you fail to return in time, you’ll have to pay the full amount.

If you don’t trust the garage you’ve chosen, you’re free to take your car to a different MOT test centre for a second MOT test – but you’ll have to pay the full fee.

The last thing you want to happen is that you fail due to your tyres and because you are in a rush to get your car through the test you just go ahead and let the garage you’ve chosen for the MOT replace the tyres there and then. This means you may not be getting the best tyres to suit your car and driving style, just what they have in stock. More importantly, it also means you haven’t had the chance to shop around to make sure you get the best deal and value for your money when buying your new tyres.

etyres supply and fit a wide range of tyres and we can usually fit them the next day at a time and location to suit you. So if you carry out your MOT pre-test checks and discover you need new tyres you can save money and hassle by arranging for etyres to supply and fit your new tyres as soon as possible ahead of your MOT test.

Denna Bowman, Head Office

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