An MOT is a legal requirement for vehicles of three years or over, and takes place every 12 months. It comprises a series of tests that determine the roadworthiness of your vehicle.
Around 1.5 million vehicles fail their MOT each year. Rather than go in blind, why not carry out checks in order to give your car a better chance of success?
1. Headlights and indicators
Check that the following exterior lights are functioning properly: headlamps, indicators, sidelights, taillights and hazard lights.
2. Brake lights
In order to see if your brake lights are working, you’ll need to press the brake pedal. Use a reflective surface to check this for yourself – or ask a friend to observe.
3. License plates
Be sure to clean your car’s license plates because they need to be clearly visible – and check that the font and spaces between letters/numbers are legally acceptable.
4. Wheels and tyres
Look for any signs of damage, and test that each tyre has a minimum tread depth of 1.6 mm (although a minimum 3mm depth is recommended).
5. Seats and seatbelts
Examine the driver’s seats for any defects, such as an inability to move forwards or backwards. Extend each seatbelt fully and look for signs of damage – and deliver a sharp tug to each seatbelt to see how it might respond in maximum-braking situations.
Clean the windscreen inside and out. Examine the the ‘swept’ section of the glass (directly in front of the driver’s position). If there’s any damage, it should be less than 10mm in size. Elsewhere, there should be no windscreen defect larger than 40mm.
7. Windscreen wipers
Spray the windscreen with water to test that the wipers are working properly. If they’re not, one or both will need to be replaced.
8. Screen wash
Make sure your car’s screen wash bottle is topped up.
If the horn doesn’t work, ensure that it’s fixed or replaced.
10. Fuel and engine oil
Petrol/diesel cars: there needs to be enough fuel in the tank for the examiner to carry out emissions tests. Also, ensure that there are sufficient engine oil and brake-fluid levels.
Please note: before carrying out any checks, ensure that your vehicle has sufficiently cooled in order to avoid coming into contact with hot surfaces.
If there are no serious problems and your previous MOT certificate is still valid, you’ll be able to drive your car away. However, the requisite repairs will need to be carried out before a re-test takes place.
If your vehicle is deemed to be dangerous, you won’t be allowed to drive it away. A member of our technical team will explain the issue(s) to you and provide you with a repair quote. No further action will be taken until you give your permission for repairs to commence.
If your car’s MOT is due, please give us a call or complete our online contact form in order to make your appointment.