Once a year, road worthiness is checked in the interests of road safety and the environment by the test we know as the MOT.
A MOT is a minimum standard which your car should meet at all times – it is not a standard you should bring your car up to once a year.
The MOT looks at some important items on your car to see that they meet the legal requirements at the time of the test.
All vehicles require a MOT test by the third anniversary of it’s registration or by the anniversary of it’s last MOT if it’d over 3 years old – the earliest date you can renew your MOT is one month before it is due to expire – (you will find this date printed on the pass certificate).
You should be aware that the MOT certificate is not a guarantee of the general mechanical condition of a vehicle.
- Body / Vehicle Structure / General items: Free from excessive corrosion or damage in specific areas. No sharp edges likely to cause injury.
- Tow-bars for Security / Condition / Inappropriate repairs or modification: correct operation of 13 pin electrical socket. Speedometer condition and operation. Engine mountings.
- Fuel system: No leaks. Security and condition of pipes / hoses. Fuel cap fastens and seals securely. Note: the fuel cap will need to be opened. Make sure the key is available.
- Exhaust Emissions: vehicle meets the requirements for exhaust emissions, dependent on the age and fuel type of the vehicle.
- Exhaust System: Secure. Complete. Catalyst missing where one was fitted as standard. Without serious leaks and is not too noisy.
- Seat belts: all the seat belts fitted are checked for type, condition, operation and security. All mandatory seat belts must be in place.
- Check of the Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) for air bags and seat belt pre-tensioners and load limiters.
- Seats: Drivers seat for adjustment. All seats for security and seat backs can be secured in the upright position.
- Doors: Latch securely in closed position. Front doors should open from inside and outside the vehicle. Rear doors should open from outside the vehicle. Hinges and catches for security and condition.
- Mirrors: Minimum number required, condition and security. Indirect vision devices.
- Load security: Boot or tailgate can be secured in the closed position.
- Brakes: Condition including inappropriate repairs or modifications, operation and performance (efficiency test). Note the removal of the road wheels and trims are not part of the test. Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) where fitted. Check of the dashboard Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL) for ABS, ESC, electronic park brake and brake fluid warning.
- Tyres and wheels: condition, security, tyre size/type and tread depth. Spare wheels and tyres are not inspected. Note: vehicles first used on or after 1 January 2012 – check of the MIL for Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).
- Registration Plates: condition, security, colour, characters correctly formed and spaced.
- Lights: Condition, operation including High Intensity Discharge (HID) and Light Emitting Diode (LED) headlamps for cleaning, self leveling and security. Headlamp aim. Main beam warning light.
- Bonnet: Securely latches in the closed position.
- Wipers/washers: Operate to give the driver a clear view ahead.
- Windscreen: Condition and driver’s view of the road.
- Horn: Correct operation and of suitable type.
- Steering and suspension: Condition, steering oil level, operation, a check for inappropriate repairs or modification including corrosion to power steering pipes or hoses. Operation of steering lock mechanism. Check of the MIL for electronic power steering and steering lock.
- Vehicle identification number: Present on vehicles first used on or after 1 August 1980. A single VIN is displayed except on multistage build vehicles. (eg van conversion, BMW/Alpina etc)
- Electrical: Visible electrical wiring and battery.
For more information please visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/your-car-and-the-mot/your-car-and-the-mot