Can windscreen issues fail your MOT

If your vehicle is more than three years old, it will need an annual MOT test to check that it meets the required safety and environmental standards for roadworthiness in the UK. Figures from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) show that 40% of cars and 50% of vans fail their MOT test every year [1]. MOT fail reasons can often include issues with the windscreen. Read on to find out what elements of your windscreen are checked in an MOT, what issues could make your windscreen fail MOT testing and what you can do to maintain your windscreen at home.

What parts of your windscreen are checked in the MOT?

In the MOT check, the test centre will check whether the wipers and the washer system are working correctly. They will also check whether the car windscreen has any cracks or chips or if your windscreen has excessive tinting, scratches or discolouration.

Which windscreen issues could make your vehicle fail its MOT?

Your car could fail its MOT if any of the following are applicable:

  • Your vehicle must have working windscreen wipers and they cannot be damaged, loose or in a poor state of repair. If they cannot clean the windscreen effectively or if the visibility of the road ahead is impaired, this may cause your car to fail the MOT.

  • You must also make sure that the windscreen washers are working correctly, the jets are not blocked or clogged up and that the washer system is providing sufficient liquid to the windscreen. There must be enough liquid to maintain clear visibility, otherwise, this may cause an MOT fail.

  • If there are any cracks or chips in your windscreen, this could also cause your vehicle to fail its MOT. The maximum size allowed for any damage is 10mm in the line of vision of the driver. This line of vision is measured as a vertical strip 290mm wide with the steering wheel at its centre. For the rest of the windscreen (the area covered by the wiper blades), cracks or chips of up to 40mm are allowed.

What can you do to prepare your car's windscreen for the MOT?

There are a number of things you can do to prepare the windscreen of your vehicle for the MOT:

  • Get any chips or cracks fixed

    In our experience, if you have even a minor chip on your windscreen in your line of vision, it is best to get it repaired before your MOT. Most windscreen chips can be easily repaired but if it has become a larger crack, your entire windscreen may need to be replaced.

  • Check your windscreen wipers

    Take the time to check the rubber on your windscreen wipers for any deterioration or damage. Also, ensure the jets supply enough screen wash to the windscreen.

  • Fill your screen wash

    An empty screen wash bottle could cause your car to fail its MOT. This is a very simple fix, so always make sure that your washer bottle is filled with screenwash.

Penalties you could incur if your car does not have an MOT

If you do not take your car for an MOT every year, you will be fined up to £1000. You will need a valid MOT when applying for insurance and tax. If you drive without insurance, you could be fined between 6 and 9 penalty points and you can also be fined for driving without tax. We recommend putting the date on which your MOT is due in your calendar in advance and setting a reminder at least a month before the due date so you won't forget to book it.

Book your Free Vehicle Safety Check and MOT at Protyre.

Here at Protyre, we offer free vehicle safety checks and MOTs. Our free vehicle safety check will include checking your wiper blades to ensure that they clean your windscreen effectively and we will also top up your screenwash fluid. Our safety checks take around 15-20 minutes and include other invaluable checks such as lights, battery, oil and tyres. Our tyre professionals at Protyre can also advise on and fit a wide range of high-quality tyres from brands such as Bridgestone, Falken or Pirelli.

You can book your MOT online with Protyre in four easy steps:

  1. Enter your registration number

  2. Find your nearest Protyre garage

  3. Optionally, choose 'service and save' and get a free MOT if you book a service at Protyre

  4. Choose a date and time - we can even offer same-day MOTs

Please get in touch with Protyre today, either on our website or by telephone, to find your local garage which will be able to assist you with any vehicle issues, servicing, MOTs or new tyres

Book an MOT for from £29.95

When your MOT is booked with any car service.