MOT Preparation

A vehicle that is in good condition, and that has been regularly serviced and maintained to manufacturers specification, should be able to pass the test. However, items can deteriorate between services and tests.

Below is a list of items that can be easily checked by the owner or driver. Such as lights, windscreen washers, wipers, horn, mirrors, seatbelts, fuel and tyres, including pressures. These checks should be done regularly, and not just prior to the test.

The condition of corrosion is not easily checked and is best left to your Auto Technician for professional advice.

  • Get someone to stand outside the car while all lights - front, rear and hazard are checked. Replace or repair if broken or faulty.

  • Ensure that the number plates and the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) plate are clean and legible. Remember to check the rear number plate lights.

  • Remember to check indicators.

  • Check suspension by applying your weight to each corner of the car then release. The car should settle down quickly.

  • Check the operation of footbrake and handbrake. Also check Anti Lock breaking system, (ABS), light operation, if fitted.

  • Check that seatbelts operate correctly and are not frayed or torn.

  • The MOT examination of the tyres does not include the spare. A tyre depth of 1.6mm is the legal minimum requirement. Check tyres are inflated correctly, making sure there is no sidewall damage. Though the spare tyre is not part of the test, it is to be advised that a correctly inflated and legal tyre / wheel should be carried.

  • Check from the driver's seat for damage to the windscreen. Testers will check that damage is no larger than 40mm in the whole of the swept area of the screen and that in the central view of the driver, called Zone A, which is 290mm wide (within the swept area and centred on the steering wheel), any damage is no larger than 10mm wide.

  • To check the exhaust, start the engine, and from the rear of the vehicle listen for excessive noise that could indicate an exhaust leak. Emission checks are an important part of the test. Regular servicing should alleviate problems with emissions.

  • Check under the bonnet to ensure that the brake fluid reservoir, windscreen washer bottle and engine oil reserves are topped up correctly.

  • A general check around the vehicle should be made to ensure that the car's fuel cap is secure, mirrors are in good condition, wipers are not damaged or split and door handles, catches and locks work.

If you are not confident in carrying out these checks yourself, contact your Auto Technician for advice on MOT preparation.

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