If your car’s more than three years old, it will need to be tested on an annual basis. It’s a legal requirement, the successful completion of which will see your vehicle issued with a valid MOT certificate, which ensures it can be driven on public roads.
MOTs consist of a series of checks which examine the condition of your car and make sure it’s working properly.
Approximately 1.5 million cars fail their MOTs each year, often because of simple faults that could easily have been remedied beforehand. Here are 10 examples.
1. Headlights and indicators
Test all car lights (headlights, indicators, sidelights, taillights and hazard lights) to make sure they’re working correctly.
2. Brake lights
You’ll either need a friend to help you with this, or use a reflective surface. Press the brake pedal to check that the brake lights function properly.
3. License plates
License plates need to be legible, so make sure that both are clean. Also, check that the font and the spacing of the letters/numbers comply with legal requirements.
4. Wheels and tyres
Check for any damage. Your car’s tyres require a minimum legal 1.6-mm tread depth (anything less will fail the MOT). However, a minimum tread depth of more than 3mm is recommended.
5. Seats and seatbelts
The driver’s position should adjust according to your vehicle’s handbook (move back, forwards, etc.). Seatbelts should be fully functioning too. Check the full length of each seatbelt for defects, tugging sharply on each to simulate how they’d react in maximum-braking situations.
You should be able to enjoy a clear view through your vehicle’s windscreen. If there’s a significant impediment directly in front of you (10 mm or more) or beyond the windscreen’s ‘swept’ area (larger than 40 mm), the car will fail its MOT.
7. Windscreen wipers
Test that both are functioning properly, and check for any signs of wiper-rubber damage (tears, holes, etc.).
8. Screen wash
Make sure the screen wash bottle is topped up.
Toot the horn. Is it working? If not, you’ll need to get it repaired or replaced.
10. Fuel and engine oils
Where appropriate, ensure your vehicle’s tank is filled with sufficient fuel (for emissions testing) and has enough engine oil. Failure to do so could lead to the MOT being cancelled.
Please note: before carrying out any checks, ensure that your vehicle has cooled sufficiently in order to avoid injury caused by hot surfaces.
Usually between 45 minutes and an hour. You’re welcome to wait in reception until the test is complete, or you can leave your car with us and we’ll inform you when the MOT is over.
As long as your previous MOT certificate is still valid and no ‘dangerous’ issues have been identified, you’ll be able to drive it away. However, if there are any major problems, they will need to be remedied before you can drive your car again.
We can take care of any necessary repair work, and of course, we’ll provide you with a quote before proceeding.
If it’s time for your car’s MOT, book your appointment with us today. You can do so by completing our online contact form, and a member of our aftersales team will respond promptly.