5 Things You Need To Do Before Taking Your Car For A MOT Test

Taking your car in for its MOT can be a nervy time. The last thing you want is for it to fail and have to undergo some expensive work. Or wondering if the garage has overcharged you for fixes you could have done yourself for a lot less. Thankfully we know all the checks that are involved in an MOT. This makes it easier to properly prepare and arrange any required work in an affordable manner.

Make Visual Inspections

You don’t need much automotive knowledge to spot many potential MOT failures for your car. A lot can be found on sight alone, such as:

  • Number plates: Need to be clearly visible, well secured and attached to the right car.
  • Wheels and tires: Minimum tread depth must be 1.6mm, while wheels need to have no damage.
  • Windscreen: Must be clear to see out of, with no damage larger than 40mm or wider than 10mm.
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN): This unique serial number needs to be visibly displayed on the vehicle, usually stamped on the inside.
Check the Engine Fluids

Without suitable levels of fuel and engine oil, you can be turned away from a MOT. This is because they’re required by the garage for running the car to test its emissions. The fuel system will also be checked for any leaks, to make sure it’s functioning correctly. If you’ve seen patches of oil or fuel underneath your car when parked… It might be worth doing the following.

Consider a Professional Job

For greater peace of mind, getting your car professionally looked over at a garage before putting it through its MOT can be a solution. This might cost more than making improvements yourself. But it can also save on any expensive fixes the garage insists on if it fails its MOT. Plus, it can save you time and effort.

Test the Electrics

Another important area inspected as part of any MOT are the lights. Make sure all of the headlights, indicators, sidelights, rear, and hazard lights function properly and have the right colored bulb in place. Use a reflective window or have someone else to check the brake lights are working too. Along with any internal lights and electrics.

Do Some Final Reviews

Windscreen wipers that aren’t working properly, seatbelts in poor condition and a driver’s seat that cannot be repositioned will all lead to MOT failure. Check these, along with your horn and that screen wash levels are topped up, tyres properly inflated and that the bonnet opens and closes easily.

Once these easy steps have been taken and any issues addressed, your car will hopefully pass its MOT and not cost you the earth in repairs.

Featured image via Photo by Hareez Hussaini on Unsplash


  1. According to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), nearly 50 percent of all faults found on MOTs could be avoided by carrying out regular maintenance or by checking some basic items before the test.


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