What’s the most common defect that leads to vehicle MOT failure?
The steering? The tyres? The suspension?
They all sound believable. But they’re not even close.
When we think about vehicles failing their MOTs, it’s natural to think about the high-profile risks – the physical mechanics of how the vehicle moves on the road.
But here’s the truth:
The number-one reason for a vehicle failing its MOT has nothing to do with the engine, the wheels, or the structure and strength of the vehicle itself:
It’s about the headlamps.
How often do headlamps cause a failure?
According to data from the DVSA, headlamps are by far the most common cause of MOT failure – even more common than faulty brakes or emissions.
Here’s how the highest numbers break down for a Class 7 vehicle:
- 24% of MOT tests fail due to lamps, reflectors, and electrical equipment
- 18% fail due to brakes
- 13% fail due to suspension
- And 8% fail due to visibility.
That’s a huge proportion of all failures – with almost 1 in 4 failed MOTs being caused by headlamp-related problems.
But there’s a silver lining here:
Because that means the biggest cause of MOT failure can be fixed with one of the lowest-cost investments for your workshop.
Does your workshop need a headlamp tester?
The short answer is ‘yes’.
Compared to most of the other heavy-duty equipment you’ve already invested in – your brake testers, your vehicle lifts, and your inspection pits – a headlamp tester is a modest investment.
But that modest investment could help to save countless vehicles from the delays and expenses of MOT test failure – easily paying for itself over and over within just the first year.
And if you’ve already invested in a Brake Tester and a Smoke Meter, it’s the perfect addition to complete the holy trinity of in-house MOT preparation – giving your vehicles the best possible chances of passing their tests every time.
How does a headlamp tester work?
Most headlamp testers (sometimes referred to as beam setters) are simple in concept. They’re robust and long-lasting, and some of them don’t even need an external power supply.
But don’t let the simplicity fool you: they’re all finely tuned and highly accurate machines, designed to help you quickly and easily test over 100 vehicles a day with just one tester.
Here’s how a few of our own Totalkare Headlamp Testers work:
Our 2100 Headlamp Tester weighs just 25kg and works without an external power source. It uses a lateral positioning laser with laser adjustment to help you easily measure main beams, dipped headlights, and fog lights.
Our 2500 Headlamp Tester uses photodiode technology (a semi-conductor that converts light into electrical current) – giving you automatic positioning to help you achieve a precise alignment on the light beam.
And finally, our 2600 Headlamp Tester uses camera technology to allow you to analyse fog, low and high-beam lights. It also uses an Advanced Frontlighting System (AFS) – which means you can use it on Matrix LED (VAG) headlights.
Worried about MOTs? We’ve got you covered
If you’re running a fleet of vehicles, the costs and delays of multiple MOT failures can quickly add up.
So to help you and your workshop get prepared (and give every vehicle the best chance of passing the test) we’ve got the full trio of in-house testing gear available in our online shop.