If your vehicle is more than 3 years old you will need to get it tested every year to ensure it is safe to drive. The MOT test is a legal requirement that can result in a £1,000 fine if you are unable to produce a valid pass certificate. To increase your chances of a pass we’ve put together a list of the basics that you can check before you head to the test centre.
Headlights and indicators:
If any of your lights or bulbs fails to work during the test then your vehicle will fail the MOT test. You need to check the headlights, sidelights, rear lights, hazard lights and indicators.
Get a friend or relative to help you with this one. Ask them to check that all your brake lights work while you press the brake pedal. This includes the brake light strip at the top of modern vehicles.
Your front and rear number plates must be clear and visible. Give them a wipe with a damp cloth to remove any dirt; and check that your rear number plate lights are working. If you are using a number plate that you have customised you need to make sure that the font and spacing meet the MOT legal requirements.
Wheels & tyres:
Check that your wheels and tyres are undamaged. The minimum tread depth is 1.6mm – anything less is a MOT test fail.
Seats & seatbelts:
The driver’s seat should be adjust forwards and backwards and all seatbelts should be in good working order. Tug sharply on all seatbelts to check that they react as they’re supposed to if you have to brake sharply.
Check your windscreen for any chips, cracks or damage. Any damage larger than 40mm will result in a fail. Also, any damage larger than 10mm in the “swept” area in front of the driver will result in a MOT test fail.
Check your wipers are clean and free from any erosion or damage. If there are any tears or holes in the rubber then your vehicle will fail the MOT test.
Top up your washer bottle before you travel to the test centre. An empty bottle is a MOT test fail.
Test your horn – if it doesn’t work you will need to take it to your dealer for repair or replacement.
Fuel and engine oil:
Make sure your car has enough oil and fuel. These are needed to test emissions and you can be turned away by the MOT testing centre if they aren’t at suitable levels.