5 quick checks Mummies (and Daddies) can make to their cars before an MOT

Posted on Dec 22 2016 - 1:49pm by Charlie

Often a garage will offer a pre-examination of your car before an MOT, this is sometimes offered free of charge, but more often than not you will be charged an additional fee for it.


There are a few things however, that you can check yourself, to help your car sail through its MOT.

Most MOT failures come from simple issues that can be easily put right by you, with a little knowledge and a dash of self-confidence. It’s also a great skill to teach your children, to assist with self-sufficiency as they grow up. 

Lights Out

Turn your lights on and check your vehicle for any bulbs that have blown. 30% of MOT failures are a result of a headlight bulb not working. This issue is easily rectified by changing the bulb yourself.

Instruction videos on the internet can show you exactly how to change a bulb in your model of car, or if you don’t fancy that, a local garage will change it for you at a fraction of the cost of a main dealership.

Don’t forget to also check your brake lights, indicators and the registration plate lamp. Aside from assisting with passing your MOT, by regularly checking these, you will make sure you don’t incur a police fine for having a light out.

Worn down

The condition of tyres or a lack of tread left on them, is another main reason for an MOT failure. The law requires that your tyres have a minimum of 1.6mm left on them, although more than this is advisable, particularly in winter.

Make sure you check the whole tyre, not just the outside edge, as they can wear unevenly if your pressures are not right or if your tracking is not balanced.

Keep it clean, check for damage and top up your fluids.

Clean your registration plates to make sure it is clear to read, and ensure there is no damage. The same goes for your mirrors, both inside and outside the vehicle and your windows. Also check your wipers are in good condition, these are usually relatively cheap and easy to replace yourself, as in most vehicles the replacements just click into place. Lastly, top up your washer fluids.

Test your horn

Beep your horn (at a sensible time of day!) to make sure it is working well. If it is not you will fail your MOT test, so get it seen to.

Check the advisories

Once you have had (and hopefully passed) your test, make sure you don’t just file the papers away that are provided by your MOT test centre, without reading them. Check the advisories the garage have given, and take action on them before your next test. Often if they are caught early the problems will be less damaging and also, by planning ahead, you can budget for the repairs, meaning they won’t come as a nasty shock as the year goes on.

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