Everything you need to know before your next MOT

If you have owned your car for more than three years, then you are legally required to have an MOT (Ministry of Transport). Without an MOT test your car is not considered roadworthy and will therefore not be able to renew your car tax or get insurance which basically means you will not be allowed to drive your car. The annual MOT test ensures that your car meets the minimum safety standards including exhaust emission levels. During this test, all major and important components of your car will be checked to ensure that they meet the legal standard required to drive on the road in the UK.

What is included in your MOT test?

While not an exhaustive test, the MOT inspects a wide variety of aspects including but not limited to;

  • Bodywork
  • Brakes
  • Driver’s view
  • Suspension
  • Steering
  • Exhaust system
  • Fuel and emission
  • Wheels and tyres
  • Tow bar
  • Seat belts
  • and more…

What is not included in the MOT test?

There are components that the MOT test doesn’t bother with like the condition of the engine or the gear box. According to the MOT rules, the tester is not allowed to dismantle or remove any parts of the car, this means they can only test what they can observe. It is worth noting that if they cannot access an area of the car that needs to be tested they can state as such in in the final notes.

Checklist to help pass your MOT

There are five simple reasons that most cars fail their MOT, make sure that you are not caught out by any of these reasons. There are some problems you might find that you can fix for yourself at home to save money and time on repair costs.

Lights – You should make sure that you test all your lights and indicators before you take your car in for its MOT test, you can do this simply by leaving the hand brake on and turning on all the lights. Remember to check your headlights, hazard lights, interior lights, brake lights and more. If you find a faulty bulb you can check your owner’s manual for the specific type of bulb and order a new one online. To check your brake lights, you can ask a friend to stand behind the car while you gently press on the brake, if not you can attempt to reverse into a reflective surface and you can check the lights in the reflection.

Tyres – You need to ensure that your tyres have enough tread, not only because you want to pass your MOT but also because proper tyre maintenance is a legal requirement. In the UK, your tyre depth is required to be above 1.6mm, although if you have winter tyres fitted you should consider changing when tread depth is below 3.0mm.