The group suggests that as many as 1.5 million failures each year wouldn't happen if motorists proactively spotted failures early and now, it is encouraging car owners to carry out quick checks of their vehicles before test day.
Number plates are also said to be a key reason for MOT fails – with some cars missing the mark simply because their plates aren't clean and legible. Low amounts of screenwash can lead to a fail too, as can an inability to adjust the drivers's seat – the SMMT suggesting both are checked and fixed before the big day.
Some checks however, such as engine oil level, can prove confusing for some drivers to carry out – and in those situations, the SMMT says that dealerships will be on hand to help.
"Every" car manufacturer in the UK is said to be participating in the "Minute Or Two" campaign, meaning that a total of 5,545 main dealers across the country will soon be handing out advice to customers. Technicians will be "ready and able to assist customers" who might be unsure about doing the checks themselves.
"The message that we are keen to get across to motorists is that an MOT fail could very easily be avoided if a simple visual check is carried out beforehand," said Mike Baunton, SMMT interim chief executive.
"Technicians at manufacturer main dealerships across the UK are ready and willing to help vehicle owners carry out the visual inspection before the test, and to rectify any issues before conducting a manufacturer-guaranteed MOT.
"With the introduction of a number of new additions to the annual MOT test just last month, it is even more important for vehicle owners to understand the advantage that a few simple checks could make to the outcome of their test."
Sue Robinson, national franchised dealer association director, added: "The 'Minute Or Two' checks are easy and simple to perform and will save motorists time and aggravation when taking their vehicle for its annual MOT test.
"If consumers have any concerns about the state of their vehicle in the run-up to its MOT, they can call a manufacturer main dealer, whose fully trained technicians will be able to provide advice on carrying out the checks for all makes and models."