Faulty headlights, indicators and reflectors are the most common reasons for cars failing their MOT, according to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

Missing bulbs or broken lights account for 25.5% of all MOT failures. Faulty or broken suspensions represented just under a fifth (18.3%) of all failures in the 12 months to March 2022, while problems with brakes (17%) and tyres (12%) were the third and fourth biggest reasons for an MOT failure, according to the analysis. Bad visibility (8.7%) was the fifth most failed issue.

A third of all initial MOT tests resulted in a fail, while 8% of all tests, equivalent to 2.4 million vehicles, was a fail with at least one dangerous defect. Brakes and tyres represent 88% of all such failures, and tyre failures have increased in recent years.

The Government has recently begun a consultation to change the date of a car’s first MOT to four years after its first registration. The proposals have met with disapproval from the major road safety and recovery organisations, but ministers say that most new cars are just as safe after four years than after three, and are more resilient to wear and tear.

“With more than 7.3 million small passenger vehicles initially failing their MOTs, and alarmingly around 2.4 million of these failures having at least one dangerous defect, the idea of relaxing rules on MOT tests could very well result in making our roads far more dangerous with the number of unroadworthy vehicles increasing,” said Nicholas Lyes, RAC head of roads policy.

“We hope the Government has finally consigned such an idea to the bin.”