13 Things To Check Before You Have Your MOT


Every time you get your car or truck’s MOT, you should ensure that it has all the safety features that are required. You need to make sure your car is in a safe and roadworthy condition before it is allowed on the road again. Some common reasons why your car may fail its MOT include faulty windscreen wipers, tyres that are not of the right size or not properly fitted, and light bulbs that have failed. Before you go to your next MOT test, you should do your best to check that your car passes the first time. Completing some visual checks will reduce the risk of an MOT failure.

Here are 13 things to check before your motor vehicle’s MOT:


1) Check the MOT history

Before getting your car MOT, it’s worth checking the history of the MOTs that have been carried out on your vehicle.

If you don’t know the history of your MOT tests, go to the government website to check the MOT history of your vehicle. You can check to see if the vehicle has passed or failed and when the next MOT is due, where each test was completed, the mileage at the time of the tests, what parts failed the test and if they were minor or major problems.

If your car has had one or more previous MOTs, and they were unsuccessful, you can check to see what common problems to check before it goes off for its MOT.

2) Make sure it’s been serviced by a registered garage

Every time you get your car or truck’s MOT, it should be serviced by a registered garage. This ensures that your vehicle is in professional hands who know what they are doing, as well as gives you peace of mind that the garage meets all the safety standards. A garage must be VAT registered! If they’re not registered, they should not be giving your car an MOT. You can search for which garages are approved in your local area online.

3) Always make sure that you have a valid insurance policy.

Always make sure that you have a valid insurance policy. It’s important to make sure that the insurance policy is still in place before you have your car or truck’s MOT. If your car isn’t insured, and you’re caught driving without one, then you will be fined as well as lose your driving license for a period of time.

4) Check the registration number

You should make sure that the registration number is on the front and back of your vehicle and the spacing, font and format of the plate comply with the legal requirements.

5) Check the fuel and engine oil

It’s worth checking the fuel and engine oil levels before you have your vehicle’s MOT. If there isn’t enough fuel or engine oil, then you’ll need to top up your tanks before going back to the garage as both are used to test the emission levels.

6) Check the brakelights

Brakelights are one of the most important safety features of your vehicle. If a car doesn’t have working brake lights, you might be breaking the law. Brakelights should work properly and clearly when the engine is running or when it’s parked. They should be bright enough so that anyone can see them from any distance and in all weather conditions.

7) Check the wheels and tyres

When you check your tyre condition, you’ll need to look out for cracks, lumps or bulges. You can check this yourself by inserting a 20p coin into the tread of the tyre, if you can’t see the rim of the coin the tyre has a fair amount of tread depth remaining. If you can see the rim of the coin then there is a high chance that you need to change the tyre. If you don’t want to risk getting into an accident or damaging your vehicle, simply take it to a local garage for a free tyre check.

8) Check the headlights and indicators

You should ensure the brake lights, front and rear headlights, fog lights, indicators and lights on the registration plate are working correctly. You should also check that the lights are secured and not obstructed.

9) Check the seatbelts and seats

Make sure the seat moves backwards and forwards smoothly and your car’s seatbelts need to work fully when you go through your MOT. Make sure your seatbelts are properly adjusted and in good condition – check them for damage and looseness. Your seatbelts need to be in full working order. Look at them, do they properly engage when you need them to? If you pull on all the belts sharply, do they behave as they should?

10) Check the windscreen

The windscreen must give a clear view of the road ahead. It should not have any chips or cracks larger than 10mm. And it should not obstruct the driver’s vision anywhere larger than 40mm anywhere else within the field of view or else it will fail the MOT.

11) Check the windscreen wipers

Windscreen wipers help to keep the windscreen clear of water and dirt and make driving easier. When they are not working, it is more difficult to see what’s going on around you. If you need your car’s windscreen wipers replaced, get them fixed as soon as possible as they will cause you to fail the MOT.

12) Check the screenwash

You’ll need to check the screenwash fluid is at the right level. This will ensure that your windscreen, windows, and mirrors are regularly cleaned for safety.  An empty wash bottle can cause you to fail your MOT.

13) Check the horn

Press the horn quickly but firmly to see whether it is loud enough for another driver to hear.