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MOT: Top Tips to Pass Your Test

Last week we looked at the basics about MOT Tests and the main causes for MOT Test failure. Here we look at some simple checks that you can do before you take your vehicle to your local MOT Test centre. They will only take minutes but could save you time and money in the long run.

  1. Tidy up. Yes, it’s true! A messy or cluttered car can cause you to fail your MOT. If your vehicle is really messy, the mechanics can simply refuse to do it – so have a quick tidy before you head to your local test centre.
  2. Clear your windscreen – inside and out. Fluffy dice, air fresheners and parking permits may be considered cute, convenient or essential by you, but if they obscure your vision, they will mean a failed MOT Test. Make sure that the view from the driver’s side is unobstructed, and give your windscreen a good wipe on the inside and out for good measure.
  3. Lights. Check that all of your lights are working. If they’re not, check the bulb – replacing it yourself will be cheaper than asking the garage to do it and could prevent you from failing.
  4. Tyres. Check for any obvious wear, tear, splits and bulges and make sure that your tyre tread is above the 1.6mm minimum to avoid an instant fail (try the 20p piece trick).
  5. Windscreen chips and cracks. Damage to your windscreen that is over 10mm and which obscures the driver’s vision will lead to a fail. Get it fixed first.
  6. Windscreen wipers. Fill up on wiper fluid and check your windscreen wipers for wear. If the rubber has perished, replace them.
  7. Fuel and oil. If you take your vehicle for its MOT and it doesn’t have enough fuel or engine oil, you could be turned away. This is because the mechanics need to start your car to do the full checks.

These simple checks can be done before you take your vehicle in for its MOT Test. Other reasons for failing are harder to diagnose and fix yourself, and will probably need to be rectified by the garage. These include:

  • Missing or damaged seatbelts.
  • Broken or quiet horn.
  • Damaged suspension.
  • Worn or damaged handbrake.

Please bear in mind that an MOT Test certificate means that your car meets roadworthy and emissions regulations at the time of testing; it doesn’t mean that your car will remain roadworthy for the next 12 months. If your test isn’t due but you notice issues such as a loose handbrake, damaged tyres or cracked windscreen, get them checked out by your garage.

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