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The MOT and You

If you're one of 20 million motorists who take their cars for a yearly MOT test, you may also be one of many for whom it's an annual worry – especially as the test becomes ever more stringent.

We would like to give you a more broad insight into the MOT, and may help you address some problems before your test and perhaps save you time and money.

What Is The MOT Test?

The MOT scheme is a road safety measure to help ensure that vehicles are:

  • Properly maintained.
  • Annually checked that they comply with certain legal requirements.
  • It applies to cars, light vans and small trucks three years old and over. They must be tested by an authorised MOT tester using approved equipment.

The test certificate relates only to the condition of the testable items at the time of the test – it is not evidence of their condition at any other time, nor of the general mechanical condition of the vehicle.

What The Test Looks For

Generally the MOT will examine the condition and performance of most elements of your vehicle.

  • Lighting. Checks will be made for the position, security of fixing, colour, brightness, prominence of Side Lamps, Rear Reflectors, Direction Indicators, Hazard Warning Lights, Number Plate Lamps, Rear Fog Lamps and additionally for Headlamps that they are a matched pair and that they have the correct beam pattern.
  • Steering & Suspension. Checks will be carried out on the elements inside the vehicle, under the bonnet and wings, and under the vehicle including: Steering Wheel & Column, Transmission Shafts, Steering Mechanism/System, Power Steering, Wheel Bearings, Front and Rear Suspension.
  • Brakes. Checks will be carried out on elements inside the vehicle, under the bonnet, and under the vehicle including: ABS Warning System/Controls, Brake System, Parking Brake System and Additional Braking Devices.
  • Wheel & Tyres. Checks will be made on: the Tyre Size/Type, the Tyre Load, Tyre Condition and Roadwheels.
  • Seat Belts. Checks will be made on: the Mountings, the condition and operation of the Belts Front and Rear.
  • General. Checks will also be carried out on various other components including: Driver's Visibility, the Horn, the Exhaust System and Emissions, the General Vehicle Condition, Mirrors, Fuel System, Registration Plates and Vin Numbers, Speedo, Driving Controls, Glazing, Body Security, Seat Security and Doors.
MOT Tips
  • Clean your car thoroughly before your MOT. Because many aspects of the test depend upon the judgement of the tester he is more likely to give you the benefit of the doubt in borderline situations if your car looks clean and well maintained. The tester can also refuse to inspect a particularly dirty vehicle.
  • Fill your washer bottle.
  • Remove any extraneous stickers from the windscreen. Vehicle licenses and parking permits etc. are allowed if they do not seriously obstruct the driver’s vision.
  • If a space saving tyre is fitted to a road wheel on your car when submitted for the test it will fail.
  • Check your filler cap before the test. Even if this is the only thing found faulty the whole fuel system will have to be checked again. Temporary fuel caps are not acceptable.
  • Attempts to personalize your number plate which affect the conventional number/letter layout or if the plates are not properly visible or they are obscured by a tow bar or similar your car will be failed.
  • For more information about MOT testing and VOSA please visit their website