Find out more about what's covered in your MOT
This page is intended to help you prepare your car for it's MOT. Included is a complete list of everything that will be checked during the test.
If an external light is fitted then it has to work. This includes brake lights, indicators, fog lights, number plate lights, reversing lights and headlamps.
Internally, warning lights for the fog lights and hazard warning lights must work. However, if your car was fitted without any of the above at the time of manufacture, then they are exempt from the test, unless you have fitted them yourself.
Wheel and Tyres
Tread depth must be a minimum of 1.6mm across ¾ of the tyre, with the remaining tyre having visible tread. However, this is the absolute minimum and it is best to have at least 2mm of tread.
Wheels and tyres must be matched for tyre sizes across all axles. Tyres must also be free from excessive cracks and splits, and have no bulges on them. They must also fit the wheel correctly.
Road wheels must show no signs of serious damage. Badly dented or distorted wheels will most likely cause a fail.
The spare is also a test item and must comply with all of the above.
Steering and Suspension
Steering must be precise and accurate between the steering wheel turning and the road wheels turning. The steering rack must be securely held in place; power assisted racks must be free from oil leaks.
The steering wheel itself must be securely fastened and show no signs of being loose. There must be no excessive play on the steering wheel if moved up and down, or side to side.
Wheel bearing must be free from play. Excessive noise when the wheel is spun could also be a worn bearing.
Shock absorbers should be free from signs of oil leakage and must settle the car in its normal position when bounced. A ceased shock is very likely to cause a fail. Shocks must be securely mounted to the car.
Coil springs must be free from any cracks and not snapped. It must also be securely located. Springs should be free from corrosion.
Suspension bushes/steering bushes must all hold their respective components in place firmly. Suspension joints must also be free-moving yet firm. Leaking boots for ball joints can cause a fail.
The Driveshaft must be free from excessive play and be straight and undamaged.
Disks and Drums
Pad/shoe linings should not have excessive wear and should be free from cracks. Disks/drums should be free from cracks and must not have any excessive pits or scratches. There should be minimal pull of the car under braking. Badly balanced brakes can result in a fail.
Handbrake operation should have minimal clicks when applied. It should also hold itself up and not fall down if tapped or moved sideways. It should hold the car firmly, and be evenly balanced.
Brake Pipes and Cables
Brake pipes and cables should be free of corrosion and securely fitted in place. Pipes should show no signs of fluid leakage. The cable should not drag across the body work. Flexible brake pipes should be free of signs of deterioration and splitting.
Callipers and Cylinders
Brake callipers should operate cleanly without any binding or ceasing. They should also be clean of any brake fluid. Master and slave cylinders should be clear of any brake fluid leaks.
All body panels should be securely fitted in place and be free of sharp or jagged edges. Any edge that could cause harm to another road user is likely to result in a fail.
Bumpers should be securely attached to the body and be free of sharp edges.
Chassis rails and other structural parts of the car should be free from excessive corrosion and rust. Where applicable, the body of the vehicle should be securely fitted to the chassis.
It must be possible to open all doors from the outside, as well as the boot and bonnet.
Seatbelts must be securely fitted at their respective mounting points. The webbing should be free from cuts and splits. The inertia reel should lock when tugged sharply. This applies to front and rear seatbelts.
Driver’s and front passenger seats must be securely mounted with no unwanted movement. They must also be able to be secured in the upright position.
ABS and airbag warning lights must both be working correctly.
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