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A vehicle should not be driven away with a Major or Dangerous fault

Minor MOT faults

A ‘minor’ fault would be considered as one where the problem does not cause an immediate safety risk but should be rectified soon. This is very similar to the existing system whereby an advisory is given to items that the driver should be aware of and may cause a future MOT failure if not addressed. An MOT certificate will still be issued if a vehicle only has minor faults.

All vehicles manufactured since 1971 must have a minimum of 2 brake lights (or stop lights) at the rear of the vehicle. If a vehicle has three brakes lights and one is not functioning, the vehicle will receive a Minor defect on the MOT.

Major MOT faults

A ‘major’ fault is more serious, poses a potential safety risk to drivers and others. It could also be a defect that has a damaging impact on the environment. These faults will result in an MOT failure and the owner will not be issued with an MOT pass certificate until the issues have been rectified. 

Using the same vehicle as an example, if two of the three brake lights are inoperative (specifically, more than ½), the vehicle will receive a Major defect on the MOT.

Dangerous MOT faults

Meanwhile a fault classed as ‘dangerous’ is one that poses an immediate risk to the safety of the driver and other road users, and as such, the vehicle should not be driven until the fault has been rectified. This will also result in an immediate MOT failure.

Let’s take our vehicle with a brake light problem once again. If all of the brake lights are missing, broken or inoperative, the vehicle will receive a Dangerous defect on the MOT since other road users will have no way of telling if the vehicle is braking or coming to a stop.