Your car’s roadworthiness in the UK depends on many tests, including the Ministry of Transport test (MOT). The test is for vehicles over three years old, ensuring they are safe and legal to drive. Yes, number plates also affect the MOT results, so car owners must ensure they follow the standards. You might ask, “What does my number plate have to do with my car’s safety on the road?”

Your number plate may not be directly related to your car’s safety, but it affects how other drivers recognise you on the road. Get a deeper understanding of the MOT and ensure that your number plates don’t lead you to a test failure.

The Purpose of an MOT Test

Introduced in 1960, the MOT is an annual inspection of a car’s roadworthiness. It checks the outside and inside features, ensuring that your vehicle meets the legal requirements for UK roads. The test includes the following important car parts:

  • Lights
  • Electrical wiring and battery
  • Windscreen and wipers or washers
  • Steering and suspension
  • Seats and seatbelts
  • Fuel system
  • Vehicle body and bonnet
  • Towbars and tailgates
  • Exhaust system and emission
  • Doors and mirrors
  • Horns
  • Brakes
  • Tyres, wheels, and TPMS
  • Number plates

Basically, an MOT guarantees that a car is safe on the road and for the environment. Vehicles that pass will get a valid MOT certificate for one year, and those that fail must undergo repairs for a retest. Retests can be costly and a hassle, so car owners should aim to pass the first time around.

During an MOT, authorised test centres check vehicles while car owners watch for at least 45 minutes to an hour. If you fail the test, you won’t be allowed to drive your car unless your existing MOT is valid. Car owners driving without a valid MOT may be fined up to £1,000.

Common Reasons for Failing MOT

Failing an MOT test can be frustrating, but there are several common reasons that drivers fail. These include:

  • Faulty lights
  • Insufficient depth on tyres
  • Cracked or chipped windscreen
  • Visible tears or damage on wipers
  • Overly worn suspension systems
  • Brake issues
  • Loose exhaust system

All these reasons encourage car owners to maintain their vehicles. And if there’s another surprising reason that people fail the MOT test, it’s their number plates.

Number Plates for MOT Tests

It’s easy to overlook number plates when you’re taking an MOT. After all, they don’t really affect how your car functions on the road. However, the BS AU 145e standard is a legal requirement for all number plates in the UK. The standard ensures that all registration plates are legible, visible and durable. Here are some of the number plates issues that may cause a car to fail an MOT test:

Damaged Number Plates

Any damage to number plates can cause them to be illegible. The standard requires all number plates to be durable, so if they’re too faded or cracked, you risk failing the MOT.

Dirty Number Plates

Number plates are always exposed to dirt, mud, and other debris. If your number plates are too dirty, they can be hard to read and identify on the road, which is another reason for an MOT failure.

Number Plates With Defective Light

Car owners must have lights to illuminate registration plates at night. The lights should be properly installed and functional for their number plate to pass the MOT test.

Stuck-On Number Plates

All number plates must also be securely mounted to the car. Stuck-on number plates are not allowed and can lead to an MOT failure.

Illegal Number Plates

Any registration plates that fail to follow the BS AU 145e standards are illegal. These number plates should be replaced or amended before taking an MOT test.

Missing Number Plates

Lastly, all cars should have registration plates. It’s illegal to operate a vehicle without registration, so going for an MOT without one is a surefire way to fail.

The other important parts of your vehicle may pass an MOT, but it’s still possible to fail if you’re careless about your number plate. Pay attention to your number plates and make sure they meet UK standards before taking an MOT. Doing so can save you from hassle, cost, and fines down the road.

MOT Test-Ready Number Plates From MyReg

Ensuring your number plates are up to standard is integral, even if you’re not up for an MOT. MyReg provides road-legal registration plates that comply with the BS AU 145e standard. We use the latest technology to create number plates that are legible, visible, and durable. We know the regulations inside out and can ensure that your number plate is MOT-ready.

Don’t spend more than necessary on your MOT just because of your number plate. Get a compliant and MOT-ready one from MyReg today!