How to prepare your car for an MOT test
The MOT, otherwise known as the Ministry of Transport Test, is a UK mechanical and emissions test that every car must pass in order to remain on the road. Three years after manufacture, a car must have passed its first MOT, and continue to pass them annually after that.
The test examines key requirements that must be met, including brakes, the battery, steering, suspension, speedometer and airbags. They’ll also look at your tyres, lights, mirrors, doors, lights, windscreen (and wipers), seatbelts and licence plates. Failing to take a MOT (or pass it) could cause your insurance to be invalidated.
To make sure you get that essential pass, we’ve created a list of points on how to prepare your car for an MOT, so you can give yourself the best chance of passing!
Check the lights are working
Park your car safely and test each of your lights in turn – including hazards and number plate lights. Grab a friend to stand behind your car and check your break lights. If something is not working, it could be the simple case of fitting a new bulb – so get sorted before the test.
Top-up the fluids
Make sure you have enough fuel, oil and screenwash before you head off to your MOT. This is a little improvement that is easy to implement and can really make you feel ready for a MOT.
Check out the tyres
To begin, tyres must be correct for the vehicle, intact, with no flats or visible damage. Your pressure should be correct for your vehicle, according to your vehicle handbook. Your tread — the grooves that run around the tyre — needs to be at least 1.6mm, or try the 20p test. Make sure if you have a spare tyre, it is in just as good shape.
Check out the windows and the wipers
All of your windows must be securely fitted and must not have any significant cracks – especially if they impact on the driver’s view. Check the rear view mirror for the same problems. Once this is done, check the wiper blades for any damage and make sure they’re working effectively. If there are any problems, a quick replacement is all it will take.
Check that your horn works
Nice and simple this one — just give it a toot!
Check that the essentials are in working order
All doors in the car should open and close effectively, including the bonnet and the boot. The seatbelts should clip in and work. There should be no jagged bodywork to the car that could potentially cause injury to the public.
Our final point would be to make sure you get your MOT from a garage, authorised by the Vehicle Inspectorate, displaying a three triangle blue MOT Sign.
With all of this checked, you should now be ready for your MOT!