Is your van MoT ready?

Is your van MoT ready?

Dan Powell of Honest John Vans shares his passing tips. 

If your van is properly maintained and in good condition, the MoT shouldn’t pose too many problems, but sometimes all it takes is a little neglect, or lack of preparation, to see your pride and joy fall at the first hurdle.

Honest John Vans has analysed the latest figures from the DVSA – the Government agency responsible for MoTs – to find the most-common causes of MoT failure in the UK. The good news is that most of the problems are minor and easily rectified.

Take a couple of minutes out of your working day to read this failure list, and ask yourself – when did you last make the basic checks to avoid these failure points?

1) Lamps, reflectors and electrical equipment

More than half of all van MoT failures are linked to lighting. That’s why it’s important to check your van’s headlights, brake lights and indicators before taking it in for an MoT. Don’t forget the number plate light, either – a quarter of a million MoT failures are linked to broken or damaged number plate lights every year.

2) Suspension

Suspension systems are complex things and have many moving parts, varying from van to van – so it’s no surprise that there’s a relatively high failure rate. A sure sign of worn suspension is knocks and clonks driving over bumps, or a general wallowiness when driving. If you’re unsure of the state of play, get it checked, especially before an MoT.

3) Brakes

Did you know a third of all vans will fail the MoT because the brakes are dangerously worn or defective? Again, like suspension issues, the tell-tale signs are usually easy to spot, with a spongy pedal feel and/or vibrations being an indication that something is wrong. A worn brake pad is generally an affordable fix. However, if left to fester, it may cause costly damage to the discs or entire brake system. If in doubt, get it checked.

4) Drivers view of the road

A quarter of a million vans fail at the MoT because the driver cannot see the road properly. It’s a shocking statistic. But one that’s usually trivial and cheap to sort out. The main problem is that wipers deteriorate over time and it’s not always obvious they’re past their best. Next time it rains, look for water smearing on the glass – if it does, then get them changed.

5) Tyres

Tyres are essential to your safety, and it’s worrying that so many vans fail on this basic test. The UK minimum tread depth is 1.6mm, and many safety organisations will tell you that 3mm should be the minimum given the drop off in performance of worn out tyres, especially in the wet. Most tyres have a wear bar in the pattern that makes it easy to see where the legal limit lies. Make sure you check the sidewalls for dents or bulges – both indicate internal damage to the tyre.

Honest John’s MoT Tip

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, millions of van owners were given a six-month MoT extension from 30 March to 1 August. As a result, MoT test centres are now becoming increasingly busy as these extensions end. Don’t leave your MoT until the last minute. Book it in early to avoid potential delays as garages become fully booked.

For more information Honest John Vans

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