Every van over three years old requires an annual MOT inspection to determine its roadworthiness, but as the test approaches many van drivers worry whether or not their van will pass. A failed test can lead to the need for expensive repairs, and it can also lead to downtime while your van is off the road. That’s why at Van Discount, as well as all the best cheap van deals you can also find this simple guide to common MOT fails for light commercial vehicles, including advice on how to avoid them.

Wheels and tyres

Correctly aligned wheels with the proper depth of tread on the tyres are essential when it comes to van safety on the road, but they’re also one of the most common reasons for failing an MOT test. You should be inspecting your tyres on a regular basis anyway, so it makes sense to do so before your van’s test is due. Firstly, check that all wheel nuts and the locking wheel nut key are in place. Next, check that the tyres have no bulges or cracks in them. Finally, it’s time to check that all-important tread depth. The law states that they have to have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm across at least three-quarters of the tread, around the whole circumference of the tyre. A good way to check this is to place a 20p coin into the grooves of the tread; if the outer rim of the coin is visible then the depth is too low, and you’ll have to replace the tyre or tyres or fail the MOT.

Windscreens and wipers

You have to be able to see clearly through your van’s windscreen, so a crack or chip can lead the MOT inspector to fail your van, particularly if they’re on the driver’s side. It’s better to have windscreen repairs, or even replacement, carried out before the test, rather than being forced to have it done because of a test failure. Your windscreen wipers must also be free of cracks and working correctly, which means that you must ensure that the washer fluid is topped up before MOT test day.

Lights and signals

Another common cause of MOT failure that can so easily be avoided relates to the lights on a van. On the day before the MOT test is due, check that all of the lights are working correctly, including the fog light. You won’t be able to see the lights yourself, of course, while you’re operating the controls in the van, so you’ll need somebody to check them for you, and these simple checks need to be carried out in the dark. A bulb that doesn’t work could create a safety risk on the road, and it’ll certainly lead to MOT failure, so have it replaced before you head to the test centre.

We sell a wide range of high-quality vans at affordable prices, but whether you buy a van from us, or continue to use your old van, always check its tyres and wheel nuts, windscreen and wipers, and lights, before taking it for an MOT test. It can save you time and money and reduce the anxiety of MOT test day. And if your van has already failed its test and you’re on the lookout for a new one, you’re in exactly the right place.

Here at Van Discount you can browse a wide range of the best van deals at your leisure, including models from leading manufacturers like Citroen and Ford, or pick your favourite from our curtainside vans. If you need any help, our experts are always happy to lend a hand – just give us a call on 01282 872 530!