MOT Test Guide
Your yearly MOT really doesn't need to be a stressful time. Regular service and maintenance should mean there'll be little to worry about. The test is designed to give you peace of mind about the safety of your vehicle.
We've put together a few basic checks that you can carry out at home in preparation. These and the more complicated items such as emissions, brakes, steering and suspension will be looked at by us during the test. If you're not mechanically minded, leave it all to us. We don't charge for small adjustments and fluid level top ups.
1. Lights - Check all lights are clean, working and undamaged. If you don't have someone to check your brake lights then try them near to a reflective surface or close to a wall in the dark. Reversing lights aren't part of an MOT.
2. Number plates - Check they're clean, damage free and easy to read. If you have a personal plate that's spaced to make a name, please provide us the correctly positioned ones and we'll fit them to pass the test. We regret we can't refit your illegal ones but will of course give them back to you. We make plates on site if required.
3. Bodywork - If you have sharp or protruding bodywork damage on your car it may fail the test. Ask us for a free estimate.
4. Doors - We'd like to think you'd have already noticed if there was a problem but just ensure all of the doors open from inside and out. Don't forget to open and secure the bonnet.
5. Wheels - a few scuffs on alloys or wheel trims are to be expected but badly damaged or buckled wheels may fail.
6. Tyres - Inspect the side walls and treads for cuts and bulges. The minimum legal tread depth in the UK is currently 1.6mm, covering 75% of the tread, measured from the centre. If you're unsure please call in and we'll check them for you. Better to be safe than sorry. Spare tyres aren't tested.
7. Windscreen - The screen has two 'zones' where some damage can be acceptable (although multiple chips may fail). The area in front of the driver, approximately the width of the steering wheel, is known as zone 'A'. You can't have a chip any larger than 10mm. In the remaining 'swept area' (cleaned by the wipers), known as zone 'B', a chip or crack can be up to 40mm.
8. Wipers & Screenwash - Make sure the wipers don't smear the glass and the rubber strips are firmly attached to the blade. If they do smear, clean them with normal car shampoo, never use washing up liquid! Top up your washer bottle and test the jets.
9. Exhaust - Just listen to the exhaust tone for any unusual noises. We'll inspect the complete system for you for damage and leaks.
10. Engine oil and fuel - The engine oil level needs to be over minimum. We don't roadtest your vehicle but it will need to run on the ramp so you'll need enough fuel in the car for this.
11. Horn - If it doesn't work just let us know and we'll look into it for you.
12. Seatbelts - All seat belts should be undamaged and operational. Pull them out fully, check for cuts (we've seen dogs eat right through them!) and check they go back in on their own.
Please note that the above information is for guidance only, covering just some of the areas of the inspection and is not as comprehensive as the test itself.