Learn more about the MOT test
Vehicle Identification Number
The MOT test checks that the Vehicle Identification Number commonly referred to as the VIN number is legibly displayed on the vehicle & is most commonly found under the bonnet either stamped into the body or on a stamped plate.
The MOT tester will check the condition, security, legibility & spacing as per your V5 (logbook) document and the format of letters and numbers on your registration plate. Different fonts & the size/spacing of the letters & figures – Personalised number plates must be as per the V5 Document. For more up to date & accurate information, please visit www.vosa.gov.uk.
The MOT test checks the condition, operation, security and colour of your vehicles lights. The test will also check to see if the head lamp aim & beam pattern is correct. (If fitted – both number plate lights are required to be operational as is the high level/centre brake light, a “tell tale” warning light is required to operate inside the car when your fog light is switched on).
Steering & Suspension
The MOT tester will also check the Steering and Suspension components e.g. road springs, shock absorbers & wheel bearings for correct condition and that the operation is correct & mounting areas are not excessively corroded. This also includes some drive train components e.g. CV boots & drive shafts.
Wipers & Washers
The MOT test will check your vehicles Wipers and Washers ensuring they operate correctly and give the driver a clear view of the road. Please note - wipers do not have to be split to produce smeared vision.
The nominated tester will check the Windscreen condition and driver's view of the road; this includes chips, cracks, stickers, mascots, satellite navigation/holders larger than 10mm on the driver’s side directly above the steering wheel (approx. the size of a drawing pin head). Other areas & the passenger side must not exceed 40mm (not much larger than a £2 coin).
The MOT test will cover the horn’s operation for effectiveness and that the type of horn is correct, E.G. The horn must emit a single & constant sound – 2 tone type horns are not permitted.
Seatbelts, including those in the rear of the vehicle, are checked for type, condition, correct operation and security, including corrosion to mounting areas and that all compulsory seatbelts are in place. Please note however that seatbelts supporting child seats & where seats have been removed (e.g. Some MPV’s /People carriers) are not part of the MOT test and therefore are not checked.
Your car's seats are checked for security e.g. remaining locked securely in place during the MOT test, this includes corrosion within the prescribed region of the seat mounting areas.
The fuel system is checked where visible during the MOT test for leaks and that the fuel cap fastens and seals securely. If separate, the fuel cap key must be supplied. Please note: Any fuel leak is a failure.
The MOT test covers your exhaust emissions, ensuring that the vehicle is within the specified guidelines for your vehicles particular make & model and that the exhaust is complete, secure on all mountings, without serious leaks and silences effectively. The emissions requirements are becoming increasingly strict every year to reduce older vehicles polluting the atmosphere by taking them off the road. If your car fails the emissions test then specialised computer diagnosis & further investigation will be required.
Vehicle structure and body shell are checked during the MOT test for excessive corrosion or damage in specific areas of the vehicle. Any sharp edge caused by damage or corrosion may also result in an MOT failure. This is primarily intended to reduce the risk of injury to pedestrians.
The MOT tester will check that all the doors open and close correctly and that the door is secure in a closed position. Front doors must open from both inside and out of the vehicle. Rear doors must remain securely closed & will need to be opened to check testable items like rear seatbelts/seats & security and body corrosion. Please ensure the boot is clear prior to MOT so that a thorough boot floor assessment may be carried out.
The mirrors on your vehicle are checked during the MOT test for condition and security. Please note: The nearside front mirror IS included in the MOT test if the interior mirror is missing/not fitted. Also note: Stick-on mirror glasses over broken mirrors are acceptable providing they are secure.
Wheels & Tyres
The nominated MOT tester will check the vehicle's wheels and tyres for some key points. Some checked items include: the condition, security, including same tyre size across the car, type of tyre, tread depth, splits, age cracking, cuts showing / down to cord, poor puncture repairs, lumps & bulges, tyre fitted in accordance to the sidewall instructions e.g. correct rotation, inside outside.
The MOT test examines certain brake components, some of the included items are – ABS light illuminating & following the correct self-diagnostic procedure, brake pedal security, rubber/anti-slip pad, brake servo operation, brake fluid reservoir bottle level & cap security/presence and braking components fouling/chafing. The efficiency of the vehicle's braking performance is tested on a brake tester rolling road (This is a government VOSA approved computerised machine that will issue a Pass or Fail brake efficiency certificate), brake condition is checked only where visible as brakes are not allowed to be disassembled during an MOT test for checking, therefore we are unable to accurately assess the true brake condition e.g. brake pads / lining thickness & leaking wheel cylinders. Please note: It is not uncommon for parts of the braking system to fail when being tested e.g. handbrake cables snapping & brake pipes bursting, as the MOT test is designed to test components to beyond their normal operating range, this is what the MOT brake test is for, it is much safer to have brake components failing in a controlled environment rather than during road use that may lead to an accident.
Further MOT Information
V.O.S.A. "the MOT governing body" is constantly adding items to the MOT test scheme. Some of the items just recently added, and some that are due to be added later this year are;
1. Dash-board warning lights displaying faults in critical systems;
2. Air bag light system fault light
3. Low brake fluid system warning light
4. Electronic steering system warning light
5. Key-less entry system system warning light
6. Tyre pressure monitoring system warning displayed
7. Electronic hand brake warning light
8. Steering wheel lock coming on when key is removed
9. Electrical wiring (any) insecure
10. Correct operation of tow bar electrical socket
11. Security and attachment of the tow bar
13. Blue high beam warning light
14. Tighter exhaust emissions
Please go to the VOSA.gov.uk site for the latest additional items