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A Comprehensive Guide to Mot Testing [Checklist Included]

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In order to drive around freely and legally on the UK roads all drivers must abide by the requirement of passing an MOT for cars that are older than three years old. While many drivers may be aware of this requirement, many of us still tend to lack a lot of basic information on it. For instance, what an MOT test is? Does a van MOT work the same way as it does for cars? How long should it take during an MOT?, and more. This article will go over all that you know about the MOT test so you can prepare for yours and pass it effortlessly. 

We all can’t help but think if the annual MOT will be just as straightforward as the preceding year or what would happen if we fail and above all what could help in passing the test. The MOT test is not as easy as it may seem, in fact up to 1.5 million cars fail their MOT mainly due to minor issues like having a dirty number plate or even a faulty bulb. 

Fortunately, there are quick checks you do for your car just in time in order[ to identify any problematic areas before the test. We recommend you carry out these tests before time so you make enough time for repairing incase you’re doing it all by yourself.

What is an MOT Test?

The ministry of transport (MOT) test confirms if vehicles comply with legal road safety requirements and environmental standards. Driving in the UK without a current MOT certificate is illegal, in case the MOT expires your car insurance will also be invalid. These certificates are essential to tax your vehicle and to change the tax class of the vehicle, e.g, free road tax requests for disabled drivers. 

An MOT test is going to expire after every 12-13 months, so if your car is over 3 years old you must book a test annually. A vehicle’s MOT can be reviewed up to one month prior to a month before the current certificate expires. This allows flexibility on setting up an MOT as per your schedule. 

How Long Does an MOT Test Take?

It takes around 45-60 minutes, but it may take additional time to rectify issues in case your vehicle does not pass the test and will therefore require more to be carried out.

Driving a vehicle that has failed it’s MOT test and is considered to be an unroadworthy vehicle is dangerous. It can also earn your license some points. Therefore, it is suggested to resolve any faults prior to you driving the vehicle. After all the issues are fixed, you will need to have an MOT retest. 

What can you Expect During an MOT Test?

What are the Odds That Your Car will Pass the MOT Test?

While everyone would hope that the answer is yes, as per the driver and vehicle standard agency (DVSA), between 2018-2019 financial year 31,335,775 MOT tests had been conducted (figure excludes retests, aborted and abandoned tests) of which 26% of them were failures, excluding vehicles that passed the test after rectifying the small issues at the time of the test. 

Regular maintenance checks and simple repairs could prevent your car from failing it’s MOT test. As per DSVA almost 50% of the faults identified on the MOT tests could have been avoided. 

Quick MOT Checklist

  • Clean and readable number plate that legally complies with the font and character spacing 
  • Ensure license plate light, hazard lights, indicators and headlights are working normally
  • Check if they brake lights are working or not 
  • Tyres must be as per the minimum legal tyre tread depth, anything less than the requirement can lead to test failure. 
  • Carefully look at the view out of the front car and see if there are any chips, cracks or damage. Damage over 10mm in the driver’s side of the windscreen and over 40mm in the rest of the windscreen can lead to failure. Obstructions to the view such as windscreen strikers can also cause MOT failure.
  • Wipers must be able to clean front and back windscreens effectively.
  • Test your horn 
  • Ensure the driver’s seat glides normally and locks securely in position without any struggle. 
  • Ensure seatbelts are in proper working condition, can lock/unlock and retract properly and do not have cuts or fraying. Additionally the attachment on the seat or floor must be secure. 
  • Have sufficient fuel and engine oil for the MOT