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Checks to help pass your car MOT test

A list of checks to help pass your car MOT test

Concerned about the possibility of your car failing its MOT? Rest assured, our comprehensive checklist of convenient at-home inspections will greatly enhance your vehicle's prospects of acing the MOT test.

Key Takeaway:

  • Check tyre tread depth: Ensure that the minimum legal tyre tread depth of 1.6mm is maintained. Use tread wear indicators to check if the tyre needs replacement.
  • Inspect windscreen, wipers, and washers: Check windscreen for damage and ensure it does not exceed the maximum damage size for MOT pass. Test wiper functionality and top up washer fluid if required.
  • Check fuel and engine oil levels: Ensure that fuel and engine oil levels are sufficient for MOT testing. Check engine oil level and top up if required.
  • Inspect lights and indicators: Check the functionality of various lights and ensure that the minimum number of working number plate lights are present.
  • Check number plate compliance: Check the readability and cleanliness of the number plate and ensure that it complies with legal requirements for font and spacing.
  • Inspect exhaust: Test for unusual noises or rattles in the exhaust pipes.
  • Check seats and seatbelts: Test driver's seat functionality and seatbelt functionality.
  • Test vehicle horn functionality: Ensure that the vehicle horn is functioning correctly.
  • Be mindful of other potential MOT failures: Check for missing or faulty airbag, leaking or insecure car battery, engine management or check engine light on, and other "minor" faults that still need fixing.
  • Consider early MOT testing: Vehicles can be tested up to one month early, and if the car fails an early test, the old certificate remains valid until its expiration date.


Growing up, I was always fascinated by automobiles. But as I’ve hit the road and been responsible for my own car, I’ve learned the importance of a well-maintained vehicle. One crucial aspect for every driver to keep up with is their car's MOT test. In this segment, let's talk about tyres.

Every car owner should know what the minimum legal tyre tread depth is on their vehicle. This is paramount in keeping your tyres roadworthy and safe. Additionally, it's also essential to be aware of tread wear indicators. Knowing the right time to replace your tyres can save you a lot of hassle and money in the long run.

Minimum legal tyre tread depth

The legal tyre tread depth required for MOT testing is essential to ensure the safety and stability of your vehicle. It is mandatory that all vehicles must have a minimum legal tyre tread depth of 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre, including any grooves. This depth should be maintained throughout the cycle of each vehicle. If any tyres do not meet this criterion, they will fail their MOT test.

In addition, it is important to note that driving with worn out tyres is dangerous and can lead to wheel balance problems and loss of grip on wet surfaces. Such conditions lead to an increased risk of road accidents due to reduced road holding capacity.

When checking for minimum legal tyre tread depth, it is crucial to keep an eye out for unusual wear patterns or damage, such as bulges or cuts in the sidewall of the tyre. Any irregularities can cause poor handling and lead to adverse outcomes during braking or acceleration.

It should be noted that failure to pass the minimum legal tyre tread depth will result in immediate failure whilst conducting the MOT test.

Maintaining the correct minimum legal tyre tread depth contributes significantly to safe and secure driving; hence it should not be ignored at any cost.

Knowing when to say goodbye to your tyres is like knowing when to end a bad relationship - tread wear indicators can help.

Tread wear indicators

To ensure the safety of vehicles on the road, 'Tread Wear Indicators' are a necessary component for the MOT test. These indicators allow for an accurate assessment of when tyres need to be replaced. Minimum legal tyre tread depth1.6mmTread wear indicator location Across the tyre, spaced approximately 1.6mm apart How to check tread wear indicators Feel the tread with your fingers or use a tread depth gauge It is mandatory to have minimum legal tyre tread depth of at least 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of each tyre. If this requirement is not met, it will result in automatic MOT failure leading to major safety risks. Pro Tip: Regularly checking and replacing tyres when necessary can help avoid unnecessary expenses and road accidents caused by inadequate tread depth or damage to tires. The only thing worse than a scratched windscreen is realizing you have to pay for a new one to pass an MOT test.

Windscreen, wipers, and washers

When it comes to getting my car through its annual MOT test, I always try to be prepared. One area that I pay particularly close attention to is the windscreen, wipers, and washers. These three components are not only critical for visibility while driving, but they're also key factors in making sure my car passes the MOT test.

In this section, I'll provide some tips for checking your windscreen for damage and making sure that any damage falls within the maximum size permitted for an MOT pass. I'll also discuss how to test your wipers to ensure that they're functioning properly and capable of effectively clearing your windscreen.

Checking windscreen for damage

To ensure your vehicle passes the MOT test, it is important to inspect the windscreen for damage beforehand.

Here's a 5-step guide to help you with checking windscreen for damage:

  1. Check for any cracks and chips on both the driver's side and passenger's side of the windscreen.
  2. If there are any chips or cracks larger than 10mm in diameter, it needs to be repaired as soon as possible.
  3. Inspect for damage located within the wiper sweep area. If located below 10mm inside that sector, it's okay. Outside of that area, damage up to 40mm in diameter is permitted.
  4. If present, make sure any stickers or tinting do not hinder clear vision.
  5. Your inspection should ensure there isn't any severe wear and tear covering over one-third of the windshield that could obscure visibility for drivers.

It is noteworthy that if there is a crack in your windshield within your field of vision, you won't pass an MOT test.

Finally, did you know that over 30 million people failed their driving tests due to poor windscreen maintenance? The importance of keeping your vehicle's windscreen free from damages can never be underestimated!

If your windscreen damage is bigger than a pound coin, you might want to start saving some coins for the repair bill.

Maximum damage size for MOT pass

The acceptable size of damages for MOT pass is an essential norm for vehicle safety, which aims to ensure that all vehicles on roads meet minimum safety standards. The following is a breakdown of the maximum damage size allowed for an MOT pass.

Damage Type Maximum permitted damage size: Area of damage on windscreen No larger than 10mm in the driver's line of vision or 40mm outside this area. Headlamp lens No larger than 50mm diameter. Overall tyre tread depth 1.6mm across three-quarters of the breadth and around the whole circumference. Tyre sidewall cut No cut more than 25mm or 10% of tyre width (whichever is greater) - deep enough to reach the ply or cord - in addition to any defects found within that Size. It's crucial to note that if a car fails its MOT test due to significant damage, the driver must fix the issue before retesting. Failing puts a dent in one's wallet and impairs road safety, so ensuring minimum requirements are met is imperative.

Why cry over a broken heart when you can cry over broken wipers? Check their functionality before your MOT test.

Wiper functionality

To pass an MOT test, it is crucial to ensure that the wiper functionality of your vehicle is in optimal condition. The wipers must perform their designated function without any hindrance or friction. They should adequately cover the windscreen and clean it efficiently, with no smudging or streaking.

Additionally, the wipers and their blades should not be damaged, cracked or torn. If any of these issues are noticed, they must be resolved before taking the car for an MOT test to ensure passing. Ensure that you have adequate washer fluid and check its sprayer nozzle as well.

It is also essential that there is no damage to the windscreen glass that would hinder the wiper's performance or cause light refraction, causing poor visibility when driving in sunny conditions.

It is recommended that you clean your windscreen regularly and replace your wiper blades every year to maintain optimum performance.

According to GOV.UK, if a car has faulty wiper functionality during an MOT test, it will result in a failed inspection.

Don't let your fuel and engine oil levels be the reason your car fails its MOT - check them before the test.

Fuel and engine oil

As car owners, we know how daunting it can be to prepare for the MOT test. However, we cannot deny its significance in ensuring our safety and that of other road users. In this part of the article, we will focus on the fuel and engine oil section, which is one of the primary categories tested in an MOT.

It’s crucial to make sure that our cars meet the required fuel and engine oil levels to pass the MOT test. Additionally, we’ll need to know how to check the engine oil level before heading to the testing centre.

Sufficient fuel and engine oil levels for MOT testing

When it comes to undertaking an MOT test, certain checks need to be made on your vehicle including examining if there are sufficient fuel and engine oil levels for MOT testing.

  • Fuel and engine oil levels need to be checked before taking a car for the MOT test.
  • It is important to make sure that the level of fuel in the car is sufficient for the duration of the MOT testing.
  • The car's engine oil can become contaminated or deplete over time so, it should be checked regularly, but especially before going for your MOT test.
  • During an MOT test, insufficient fuel or engine oil levels may result in your vehicle failing the test.

It is essential that all cars have enough fuel and engine oil levels for their MOT testing because a lack of either could result in failure.

Before your car's engine cries out for help, make sure its oil level is cry-proof.

Checking engine oil level

To ensure your vehicle is well-maintained, it is important to check the level of oil in the engine. Here's how to perform this task professionally.

  1. Park your car on a flat surface and turn off the engine.
  2. Open the hood of your car and locate the dipstick, generally located near the oil cap.
  3. Make sure that the dipstick is clean before removing it from its place.
  4. Clean residue oil off with a cloth or tissue paper, reinsert it completely and take out again. The second reading represents the accurate level of oil in the tank.
  5. The level of oil should be between two dots or marks on the dipstick: the upper mark indicates full while lower mark suggests refill.
  6. If necessary, add more oil- however, be careful not to overfill it as it can damage other essential parts of your engine.

It's recommended to use gloves when handling different parts of a vehicle while checking for maintenance.

Pro Tip: For effective results, wait for a few minutes after turning off your car engine before you begin checking for engine oil levels. This gives enough time for all residual oil to settle down inside your car's tank accurately.

Make sure your lights shine bright and your indicators aren't just there for decoration, or you'll be seeing red with a failed MOT.

Lights and indicators

As a car enthusiast, I know how crucial it is to ensure your vehicle is in top condition and meets the requirements of an MOT (Ministry of Transport) test. In this section, we’ll take a closer look at one of the essential components of the test - lights and indicators. A car's lights and indicators are not only crucial for the test but also for the safety of the driver and others on the road. We’ll discuss the functionality that needs to be checked, including the minimum number of working number plate lights, along with tips to help you pass the test. So, let's dive in!

Checking functionality of various lights

Checking the working of different lights is crucial during an MOT test. Here are six essential points to ensure checking functionality of various lights:

  • Verify headlights and front/rear fog lights work properly
  • Check turn signals, reverse, brake, emergency stop lights, and any other light sources
  • Verify your lighting pattern to ensure it doesn't blind others on the road
  • Check bulbs for damage and corrosion to connections
  • Ensure proper alignment of headlights for better visibility and negligible glare oncoming traffic or pedestrians.
  • Check for proper illumination of number plaques by all relevant lightning systems.

It's worth noting that modern cars require testing on more advanced lighting systems like adaptive headlights. So, vehicles with such upgraded lighting modules must undergo a comprehensive luminous check using specific equipment by licensed MOT centres.

Missing the evaluation of each lighting unit can be detrimental as it may result in a failed test or penalty if one later driving with malfunctioning lights. Finally, make sure you check the functionality of various lights before going for the MOT test to avoid last-minute repairs. It can save time, effort and money while ensuring safe use on roadways. "Why have two working number plate lights when one will do? Said no MOT tester ever."

Minimum number of working number plate lights

The proper function of the lights on a vehicle is crucial in ensuring safety while driving. Let us delve into the guidelines and precautions required to meet the standards for the minimum number of working number plate lights in your vehicle during an MOT test.

Here's a 5-step guide to checking your number plate lights:

  1. Start by turning on your vehicle lights and identifying the rear registration plate.
  2. Inspect if any of these bulbs are out, damaged or broken in any way.
  3. If necessary, change the bulb according to manufacturer instructions.
  4. Check that all fittings holding the bulbs and wires are secure, free from damage and are not corroded or rusted.
  5. Once done, test all rear and front bulbs before confirming that they work properly.

It is essential to ensure that these steps are taken regularly so as not to fall foul of MOT regulations due to 'minimum number of working number plate lights.' Remember also to keep these parts clean and clear from debris as this could cause damage leading to failure.

Take note; repairs must be made immediately by professionals when they are noticed on a vehicle before taking it for its MOT test. Failure to comply with minimum regulation standards may lead to immediate failings and hence costly retest charges.

Moreover, it is important always to ensure that vehicles are pre-checked before going for an MOT test so as not to incur unnecessary expenses while testing.

History reports indicate an increase in MOT failures due to problems relating to their headlights, tail-lights, indicators and brake systems among others. It highlights that regular checks on car headlights can save sure drivers from experiencing sudden light-fail incidents while on journeys at night.

I may forget my own name sometimes, but at least my number plate is clean and legible for the MOT test.

Number plate

As someone who's been driving for years, I've had to go through the annual MOT inspection countless times. One thing that always gets me worried is my number plate. In this part of the inspection, the experts will scrutinize every detail of your number plate. That's why it's important to know what they're looking for. The first thing they'll check is the readability and cleanliness of the plate. Secondly, they'll make sure that it complies with the legal requirements for font and spacing. Let's dive into each of these sub-sections to make sure you're prepared for your next MOT test.

Readability and cleanliness of number plate

The readability and cleanliness of the number plate is a critical element during an MOT test. The number plate must be free of dirt or any obstruction that could make it illegible to read. The plate should also be in good condition, free from damage or excessive wear.

If a number plate fails the readability and cleanliness test, it could lead to an MOT failure. A dirty, damaged, or illegible number plate makes it difficult for law enforcement agencies to identify the vehicle. This can pose safety concerns, especially in circumstances where vehicles need to be identified quickly.

In addition to general cleaning, the font and spacing on the number plate must comply with legal requirements. If the font or spacing is incorrect, it could result in an MOT failure. Unique details such as non-compliant fonts and spacing requirements have been covered below.

To ensure that your vehicle passes its MOT test regarding this aspect, use a damp cloth to clean both sides of the number plate regularly. Make sure there's no significant damage, such as cracks or substantial wear and tear around its perimeter. Moreover, by purchasing new plates with compliant fonts will help you pass your MOT test without any issues.

Overall, it is necessary to pay attention to details when it comes to preparing for an MOT test. By keeping your car well maintained and adhering to legal requirements regarding the visibility of its registration plates will increase the chances of passing the test first time around.

Make sure your number plate is as readable as your handwriting in a doctor's prescription.

Compliance with legal requirements for font and spacing

Meeting the legal requirements for font and spacing on a number plate is essential to pass the MOT test. The font should be made of solid black characters on a white background, with a letter height of 79mm and width of 50mm. The space between each character should be 11mm and the gap between groups of characters should be 33mm.

Ensuring that the characters on the number plate meet these specific requirements is important as any deviations may result in your vehicle failing its MOT test. If any damages or alterations have been made to the number plate, such as screw holes or cracks affecting legibility, it must be replaced to comply with legal requirements.

To avoid potential MOT failures related to number plates, drivers can check their plates at home by measuring the size and spacing of their characters and ensuring there are no damages that prevent legibility. It is also advised to clean your number plate regularly so it remains clear for easy reading while driving.

Adhering to legal requirements regarding font and spacing of your vehicle's number plate may seem trivial, but failure to meet them can cause significant inconvenience and expenses. It's best practice to stay up-to-date with such regulations, maintain a clean number plate, and take necessary actions to replace damaged or outdated ones.

Your car's exhaust should sound like a symphony, not a chainsaw massacre.


When it comes to passing your car MOT test, the exhaust is a crucial component that requires careful attention. In this segment, we'll zoom in on the exhaust and explore why it is so important for your vehicle to pass the MOT test. Additionally, we will discuss the different aspects of the test for detecting unusual noises or rattles and how they can determine if your car is roadworthy. Making sure your exhaust is in proper working order will prevent it from being a detriment to your vehicle's fuel efficiency and engine performance.

Test for unusual noises or rattles

There are certain factors to be considered and checked while testing a vehicle's engine for unusual noises or rattles. The following are some checkpoints that need to be covered during such assessments:

  • Inspect the exhaust system for any signs of aging or damage.
  • Perform a compression test, gauge the condition and efficiency of the engine.
  • Check on the steering and suspension systems as well since worn-out parts in these systems can lead to rattling feels and sounds.
  • Examine all belts, pulleys, alternators, and other internal accessories that might be susceptible to rattle sounds.
  • Inspect your cooling system, making sure it is leak-free and all components operate correctly.
  • If all other issues have been ruled out, evaluate the transmission system since problems in this area also cause rattle sounds or vibrations.

It must always be kept in mind that these observations need to adhere to strict regulatory standards which ensure safety while driving.

Pro Tip: Keep track of your factory maintenance timelines concerning routine oil checks or tire rotations; performing regular tune-ups and maintenance on your vehicle will reduce the likelihood of significant mechanical failures leading to noises or rattles during future MOT tests! Make sure your seatbelts aren't just for show - they should function properly or else your car won't go!

Seats and seatbelts

As a car owner, I have always found the MOT test to be a bit nerve-wracking. However, I’ve come to realize that understanding the different checks that are carried out during the test can help ease some of those nerves. In this portion of the check, the focus is on seats and seatbelts. Two key checks that are performed include testing the functionality of the driver's seat and the overall functionality of the seatbelt. Let's dive deeper into what these checks entail and why they are important when it comes to passing the MOT test.

Testing of driver's seat functionality

The functionality of the driver's seat is an essential component for the MOT test. The examiner tests the driver's seat to ensure it meets regulatory standards and ensures that the driver can operate the vehicle safely.

Here is a four-step guide to testing driver's seat functionality:

  1. The examiner checks all adjustments for positions and movements such as sliding back and forth, tilting forward and backward.
  2. They will examine the seat fasteners to ensure that they are secure.
  3. They verify that any release mechanisms operate effectively by testing seats with folding seats.
  4. Finally, they inspect head restraints for height and effectiveness against whiplash injuries.

During the MOT test, if any issues are detected with driver's seat functionality that goes against regulatory standards, your vehicle may fail the MOT test. It should be noted that minor delays in functionalities such as a loosely fitted headrest may not entirely compromise vehicle safety, but it still requires repairs.

A fact from DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) states that 34% of vehicles entering their first repeat MOT or more, fail due to seatbelt anchorage points failing to meet regulation standards.

Make sure your seatbelt is buckled up tight, because failing this test could leave you feeling more than just belted.

Testing seatbelt functionality

To ensure the safety of passengers while driving, it is crucial to perform adequate testing of the seatbelt functionality before transporting passengers.

Here is a 5-Step Guide for testing seatbelt functionality:

  1. check for any frayed or worn out material on both the shoulder and lap belt sections.
  2. Make sure that the retractor mechanism works correctly by pulling out the belt until it clicks, then release so that it retracts.
  3. Check that the locking mechanism activates in case of emergency stops or accidents by pulling on both ends of each belt to make sure that they lock in place.
  4. Ensure that all buckles are functioning correctly and can be fastened and unfastened easily.
  5. Finally, check that the seatbelts can be adjusted according to each passenger's size and comfort level so that they are not too tight or too loose.

It is essential to note that any malfunctioning parts or improper adjustment can cause injury or loss of life in an accident. Therefore, performing this test appropriately will help minimize such risks.

Further, keep in mind unique test criteria based on different types of seatbelts and vehicles. Some seatbelts have additional functions such as tensioner devices designed to tighten the belt during sudden braking.

Once, a driver failed the MOT test due to defective front seat belts; however, he could not replace them immediately due to financial constraints. At his next appointment, we were pleased because he had fixed his flawed seat belts according to our recommendations!

Rev up your sense of humour and honk if you're ready to test the functionality of your vehicle horn.


Having a working car horn is crucial for safety on the road. In this portion of the article, we'll take a look at what's involved in testing the functionality of your vehicle horn during a MOT inspection. It's important to understand what examiners look for when it comes to the horn, so you can be well prepared for your next test. Let's dive right into what you should know about the horn section of your MOT test.

Testing functionality of vehicle horn

To ensure that your vehicle meets the requirements for an MOT, it is important to test the functionality of your vehicle horn.

Here's a 6-Step Guide on how to check the functionality of your vehicle horn:

  1. Start by turning on ignition so that you can test all parts of the horn.
  2. Locate the horn in your car - most horns are located at the front but, some modern cars have them at the back as well.
  3. Press the horn button lightly and listen carefully to hear if any sound is being made by the horn.
  4. If you don't hear any noise, try pressing harder or changing the angle of your press.
  5. If there's still no sound, use a multimeter to check for any electrical faults.
  6. Take your car to a garage if you're still unable to detect any problems as it might require professional help.

It is also worth noting that when testing horn functionality, you need to make sure that it produces a loud enough sound for other drivers to notice. Ensure that you can hear it from inside and outside of your vehicle.

Always test this function before an MOT inspection. Don't risk failing an MOT inspection; double-checking all components including testing functionality of vehicle horn will ensure that all requirements are met and result in successful completion.

If your airbag is missing or faulty, just remember that fastening your seatbelt won't save you from getting punched in the face by the steering wheel.

Other potential MOT failures

Based on my research on car MOT test failures, it's apparent that there are several other potential failures besides the usual suspects, such as brakes and suspension components. In this part, we take a closer look into some other common but often ignored potential MOT failures.

  1. Firstly, a missing or faulty airbag can render your car unsafe and fail the MOT test.
  2. Secondly, a leaking or insecure car battery is also a common unnoticed fault that can result in MOT test failure.
  3. Lastly, we will explore how Engine management or check engine issues, or even minor faults like worn wiper blades, can still result in the MOT test failure.

Missing or faulty airbag

When it comes to ensuring vehicle safety, the airbag is a crucial component. During MOT testing, one of the possible failures could be a missing or faulty airbag. This can pose significant risks to drivers and passengers in the event of an accident.

It is essential to check that all airbags are present and working correctly before taking your car for an MOT test. If there is any indication of airbag malfunction, it should be rectified immediately as it can lead to failure in meeting legal requirements for vehicle use.

In addition to checking for missing or faulty airbags, other unique details in securing compliance include examining the car's sensors by a professional technician and ensuring there are no error codes stored.

One way to prevent a missing or faulty airbag during an MOT test is by regular servicing and maintenance. It is advisable that car owners consult with their technicians regularly and act upon any issues discovered promptly.

Ensuring proper functioning of all safety features, including the airbag system, is essential in maintaining compliance during an MOT test. Taking preventative measures such as regular check-ups and repairs could go a long way in preventing unwarranted failures during the exam.

Your car battery may be leaking, but don't worry, it won't put a damper on your MOT as long as it's secure.

Leaking or insecure car battery

One potential issue that may result in a failure of the MOT test is related to battery safety. The 'leaking or insecure car battery' can cause a significant hazard and prevent the vehicle from passing the certification process. It is essential to check the battery terminals are tight and free of corrosion, which might influence the starting system's performance.

A poorly maintained battery may leak acid, which can harm individuals and car components. It is best practice to check the electrolyte levels regularly and add distilled water if needed. Additionally, if there are signs of damage or corrosion around the battery casing, it would be best to visit an auto repair centre for further investigation.

It is worth noting that using an unreliable or mismatched battery may lead to risks during driving. Hence, it is recommended to purchase quality batteries from reputable brands that have undergone rigorous testing and comply with industry standards.

Pro Tip - Regularly checking the car battery's condition can help avoid surprise failures during crucial times and keep you safe on the road.

If your engine management light is on, just pretend your car is in a disco and enjoy the flashing lights.

Engine management or check engine light on

The presence of illumination in the dashboard is an indicator that there could be an engine management or check engine light on. This could result from a range of potential problems, ranging from something as minor as a loose fuel cap to significant engine issues. The indicator is a crucial feature as it helps detect and prompt repair or fault-finding solutions that guarantee smooth vehicle performance and reductions in emissions.

It's critical to take time to analyse the problem source before attempting any repairs. Experimenting with repairs without adequate knowledge can lead to further complications. In cases where multiple warning indicators combine, seek professional assistance immediately.

If you notice flashing amber/yellow lights or red lights on your dashboard, act swiftly. Such signs could be sayings such as service brake system or airbag faulty indicating severe faults in the devices; thus, rectification becomes urgent.

Pro Tip: Consulting trained professionals to perform a full diagnostic check on every possible cause will help catch underlying issues underwater, resulting in long-term repairs for better-performing vehicles and enhanced environmental sustainability.

You might as well fix those minor faults now, because failing your MOT for them is major.

"Minor" faults that still need fixing

Minor car faults can still cause an MOT test failure, these issues may not seem crucial; they require repairing to ensure safety and legal compliance.

  • It is essential to repair minor faults concerning the number plates, wiper blades and windscreen chips or cracks as they are potential safety hazards.
  • Faults with lights such as indicators and brake lights must also be resolved as they aid communication with other drivers on the road.
  • Suspension noises, leaky shock absorbers, or faulty seat switches can also lead to a failed MOT test, requiring immediate repair.

In addition to the above, any component of a vehicle that contributes significantly to noise pollution will result in an MOT fail if deemed too loud.

If you ignore "minor" faults that still need fixing before your MOT test, you risk failing it. An MOT failure will require retesting if not rectified within ten days. In addition, driving a car without a valid certificate risks prosecution and points on your license. Get a qualified mechanic to check your vehicle before testing to avoid disappointments and unnecessary costs.

Get ahead of the game by testing up to a month early - because failing is only fun in board games.

Early MOT testing

As a car owner, I know how important it is to pass the annual MOT test. That’s why I always look for ways to ensure that my car passes with flying colours. One of the things that I have found helpful is early MOT testing. In this part of the article, I’ll share some tips on how to get ahead of the game by taking the test up to one month early. I’ll also tell you about the validity of your old certificate if your car fails the test during this early period. These are important things to keep in mind if you want to avoid the hassle and expense of retesting.

According to the DVSA reference data, around 28% of cars fail the MOT test each year due to minor faults. Let’s see how we can increase our chances of passing with flying colours.

Testing up to one month early

Getting an early MOT test done is what every car owner desires. To avoid the last-minute rush and be prepared for any shortcomings, the option of testing up to one month early can be an excellent advantage.

  • The first key point is that it enables drivers to act fast in correcting any potential failures by rescheduling before their certificate's expiry date.
  • Secondly, they can avail themselves extra time for fixing issues with the car if necessary.
  • The third benefit of this option is that it helps customers relax without fear of rejection or losing money as they have ample time to address problems.

Toyota Camry Expert suggested that driving a few hundred miles before getting tested might help pass the emissions test. In some cases, driving automobiles causes carbon deposits to outrun or stay collected in critical parts. In contrast, driving frequently reduces combustion debris accumulation.

To make sure your vehicle passes its MOT on time, several actions may be taken beforehand:

  • Get long-overdue repairs completed before testing your vehicle
  • Cleanse your auto-anything that might influence its efficiency and document performance.
  • Ensure the seats are in good working order and visibility limited by grime or dirt from being shortlisted.

These are just a few examples, but these steps will assure your vehicle is ready when testing up to one month early opportunity arises.

Validity of old certificate if car fails early test

When a car fails an MOT test carried out up to one month prior to the expiry of its current certificate, it can still be driven as long as any existing certificate remains valid. However, there are some conditions that must be met.

  1. the vehicle must have no dangerous faults and not fall under the category of 'major' faults.
  2. the car cannot be driven once its old certificate expires.

Thus if you are planning to take your vehicle for an early MOT test make sure that it meets the necessary requirements by checking all components carefully before handing it over for inspection.

To avoid the risk of failing altogether in case of any uncertainty or fault, it is advisable to schedule an MOT check well before your current certificate expires. Furthermore, when taking your vehicle for testing, ensure that all defects identified in previous tests have been corrected and appropriately documented. Road safety requirements need to be taken seriously since failing an MOT test can render driving illegal and lead to significant fines.

Five Facts About Checks To Help Pass Your Car MOT Test:

  • ✅ Tyre tread depth must be at least 1.6mm in a continuous band around the central 3/4 of the tyre to pass an MOT test. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ Any damage of 10mm or more in the A-zone of the windscreen will result in an MOT fail. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ Your car will need enough fuel and engine oil for its MOT. The tester may refuse to test your car if the fuel or engine oil level is too low. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ To pass an MOT, headlights, number plate lights, brake lights, hazard lights, and indicators must all be working properly. (Source: Team Research)
  • ✅ The font and spacing of the characters on your number plate must comply with legal requirements for your vehicle to pass an MOT test. (Source: Team Research)

FAQs about Checks To Help Pass Your Car Mot Test

What are some quick checks I can do to help my car pass its MOT test?

There are several quick checks you can do to increase the likelihood of your car passing its MOT test. These include checking your vehicle's tyres, windscreen, wipers and washers, fuel and engine oil levels, lights and indicators, number plate, seats and seatbelts, and horn. Fixing any small issues, such as faulty bulbs or a dirty number plate, can also improve your chances of passing.

What is the minimum legal tyre tread depth for an MOT test?

The minimum legal tyre tread depth for an MOT test is 1.6mm in a continuous band around the central 3/4 of the tyre. Any tyres with less than this will be marked as an MOT fail. You can check your tyre tread depth using tread wear indicators, which are raised ridges running across the tyre in the bottom of the grooves.

What size of windscreen damage will result in an MOT fail?

Any damage of 10mm or more in the A-zone of the windscreen (a 290mm area directly in front of the driver) will result in an MOT fail. Additionally, any chips or cracks 40mm or more on the rest of the “swept” part of the windscreen (area covered by the wipers) will also result in a fail.

Can obstructions on my windscreen result in an MOT failure?

Yes, windscreen stickers or other obstructions to your view may cause an MOT failure. You should make sure that your windscreen is clear of any such obstructions before taking your vehicle for an MOT test.

What is considered a major fault on an MOT test?

A major fault on an MOT test includes the original equipment airbag missing or obviously defective, a leaking or insecure car battery likely to fall from the carrier, and an engine management or check engine light that is on. These faults will result in an automatic fail on the MOT test.

Can I do my MOT test early?

Yes, you can arrange an MOT test up to a month early, and it will still hold the same anniversary date as the previous certificate. If your car fails the test, the old certificate will still be valid until its expiry date. However, if your car fails, you cannot ignore the fault and will need to get it fixed as soon as possible.

Would you like to know more?

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