How to help yourself when it comes to MoT test time

Top tips from to help your car pass its next MoT

An annual MoT test is required for vehicles over three years old and for many motorists the experience can be quite daunting.
It’s estimated that around 1.5 million vehicles in the UK fail their MoT because of small issues such as the horn not working, a broken windscreen wiper or a dodgy bulb, all of which can be dealt with in advance by yourself.
So a quick self-check of your vehicle will help you to find any little niggles before you book it in for its annual MoT test – it could mean the difference between a pass or a fail for your car, so it’s definitely worth 15 minutes of your time.

Top tips from to help your car pass its next MoT

How to help yourself when it comes to MoT test time © Copyright Jaggery and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The MoT self-check list:
Number Plates
Give your number plates a quick clean and make sure the style of the numbers and letters comply with the legal requirements.
The Horn
Pomp away to check if it’s working –it’s an essential safety feature and needs to be working in order to pass your MoT.
Check all the lights on your vehicle to ensure they’re working properly – headlights, rear lights, sidelights, indicators and hazard lights. Ask a colleague or family member to stand behind your car and check that the rear brake lights are working.
Check the tyres (and the spare) for signs of damage such as cracks and gouges and look at the tyre tread depth. The minimum requirement is 1.6mm; anything less could mean a fail. It’s recommended that we change our tyres once the tread has reached 3mm.
Windscreen & Wipers
Inspect your windscreen for damage – a crack measuring more than 40mm is a fail and damage to the area in front of the driver can be no wider than 10mm, so it’s vital that you take a good look through the windscreen for any damage. Check the wipers too, as damaged wipers could mean an MoT fail.
It takes a couple of minutes to ensure your washer bottle is topped up. An empty washer bottle could be a small issue that costs you a pass.
Seat Belts & Seats
Check the driver’s seat to make sure it can be adjusted correctly and inspect the seat belts to ensure they’re fully functioning and in good order. Test the seat belts by tugging on them to check they react as they should in the event of hard braking.
Fuel & Oil Levels
Check your oil and fuel levels – an MoT centre can refuse to test your vehicle if it isn’t filled up with a suitable level of oil and fuel.
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