Some vehicles are not passing as the screenwash is not topped up, the survey by What Car? found.
Test centres are also failing cars as they have stickers on the windscreen that block the driver's view, while some drivers even turn up for a test without number plates.
Between August 2012 and August 2013, 4649 failures were for non-topping-up of the screenwash, 2852 cars were dirty or cluttered and 1055 had windscreen stickers obstructing the view.
The most common reasons for failure were tyre tread depth being below the limit and brake pads being worn.