How to prepare your car for a MOT

Any vehicle aged over three years in the UK is legally required to come with a valid MOT certificate. To receive such a certificate, vehicles must undergo a yearly MOT test to confirm whether it is roadworthy.

Currently an MOT test costs £54.85. Anyone who drives a vehicle without a MOT certificate can face a maximum fine of £1,000. The only exception to this rule is if your last MOT certificate has expired and you are driving to a pre-booked MOT.

MOT tests are undertaken at service garages by qualified engineers to ensure the car meets both safety regulations and emissions criteria. MOT tests can be carried out by numerous independent garages and trusted franchise dealerships in Britain, such as Perrys.

Even though it’s clearly important, millions of MOT test failures are recorded in the UK each year.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) found that back in 2012 there were 8.1 million MOT failures in Britain. However, almost a fifth of MOT failures recorded can be avoided by motorists who take a little more care and make some basic vehicle checks.

While an MOT test is just a check, and doesn’t directly involve any repair work, some work may be needed on the car after the test to make it legally roadworthy. While there are many things in your car which can fail an MOT test, you certainly don’t need to be any kind of engineering expert to pass it.

A series of simple but effective vehicle checks can be made by any motorist prior an MOT test and avoid failing on any trivial matters. Here’s our guide to preparing your car for a MOT.

If a car has any sort of obvious fault, mechanical or otherwise, chances are it will fail the MOT test. However, regular and dependable servicing can keep the car in generally good condition. While some servicing repair work can be expensive, getting it sorted before an MOT test means your vehicle will spend less time off the road and it is guaranteed to be safe.

Other then any important service repairs, car owners can make some quick and easy checks around the interior and exterior of their vehicle.

One are worth checking is the seat belts. Check they are not frayed or damaged otherwise these can easily cause a failure in your MOT test.

It’s also important to check steering and brakes before the MOT test. The brake pedal should not feel spongy for instance. If it does, it could mean there is air in the hydraulic system. The steering meanwhile should be smooth and the steering wheel should not be loose.

Also, check all the lights on your car are working - this includes headlights, sidelights, rear lights, hazard lights and indicators.

The condition of the tyres on your vehicle is significant as to whether your MOT test will be successful or not. Inspect your tyres to check they are not worn or damaged as in either case this will probably result in a test failure. There are numerous precautions you can take to keep your tyres at the correct pressure level and in general good condition.

Other components on your car worth inspecting include the number plates, windows the horn, indicators, windscreen wipers and seats. All of these parts will also be inspected during an MOT test so check they are functional and/or clean beforehand.


Finally it’s wise to have your car clean and empty of clutter when taking it to its MOT test. This way you can guarantee that the mechanic undertaking the test on your car won’t refuse to complete it on the grounds that access is limited.