Top 10 Things to Check Before an MOT Test

Your vehicle could fail its MOT due to a number of reasons, such as faulty windscreen wipers, tyres not having enough tread depth or even bulbs not working. You as the driver should take the time to prepare for your next MOT test and reduce the risk of an MOT failure by undertaking some visual checks to ensure your vehicle passes first time.

Top 10 points to check to pass your MOT first time:

1. Headlights and indicators

Roughly 19% of MOT’s fail due to lights and signals not working. Make sure you check all lights (front, rear, brake, fog, indicator and registration plate) and signals are working and replace any bulbs where required.  Lights should be secure, not obstructed and be correctly positioned.

2. Brake lights

You can check your brake lights in one of two ways. Either press the brake pedal and get someone to check whether the light comes on or reverse up to a reflective surface, press the brake pedal and check behind to see for yourself.

3. Registration plate

A registration plate must be securely fitted to both the front and rear of your vehicle, displayed in the correct font and format, with the spacing between letters complying with legal requirements.

4. Wheels and tyres

Visually check your tyre condition – each must be free from lumps, bulges and cracks. Check tread depth is above 1.6mm. If you’re in doubt about how much tread your tyres has left you can book a free tyre check at your local centre or take the 20p test. Insert a 20p coin into the tread at various places on the tyre. If the rim of the coin is hidden by the tread depth, then it is likely that your tread depth is safe and legal. If you can see the rim of the coin there is a very high chance you will need to replace your tyres. Need new tyres? Browse our selection now. If you’re in doubt about how much tread you have left on your tyres visit your local Protyre centre for a free tyre check today.

5. Seats and seatbelts

The driver’s seat should move forwards and backwards freely, without any restrictions.  Your seatbelts need to be in full working order for you to pass your MOT. Take a look at them – is the belt frayed? Do they properly engage? Check they react as they should if your vehicle was to brake severely by tugging sharply on all belts.

6. Windscreen

There must be no damage or obstruction larger than 10mm on the windscreen directly in front of the driver. This, along with any damage larger than 40mm outside this area (but still within the swept area) will cause you to fail your MOT.

7. Windscreen wipers

Your wipers must keep your windscreen clean and give a clear view of the road for the driver. Any significant damage to the wiper rubber can potentially be an MOT fail.

8. Screen Wash

Something as small as an empty wash bottle can cause an MOT fail. Ensure your bottle is topped up with either water or screenwash before taking your vehicle in for an MOT test.

9. Horn

Press the horn to give a short sharp blast. The noise must be loud enough to be heard by another road user.

10. Fuel and engine oil

Without suitable levels of either fuel or engine oil your vehicle may be turned away from its MOT check. Both are required to test emission levels so make sure your vehicle is filled up with both.

More information on the reasons a vehicle might fail an MOT test can be found here: The Most Common Reasons for MOT Failures and MOT Failure Codes

A MOT Test Checklist: What is Included in an MOT? contains valuable information for drivers.

If you do fail your MOT test you might be eligible for a free MOT retest

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