The Car MOT Test

It is a legal requirement for your car to have a valid MOT if it needs one. In addition, driving without a MOT or in an unroadworthy car your car insurance is likely to be invalid.

Parts of your car tested during your Car MOT test

  • Vehicle Identification
  • Registration Plates
  • Lights
  • Steering & Suspension
  • Wipers and washers
  • Windscreen
  • Horn
  • Seatbelts
  • Seats
  • Fuel system
  • Exhaust emissions
  • Vehicle Structure
  • Doors
  • Mirrors
  • Wheels & Tyres
  • Brakes

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

Not more than one different identification number should be present on a vehicle first used on or after 1 August 1980. However, the same number may be displayed in more than one place.

Registration Plate

  • Condition - no cracks or marks that prevent it from being read
  • Security - must be fixed to the car securely using screws or adhesive pads
  • Legibility and format of letters/numbers - if you change modify or use different lettering on your registration plate it could fail its MOT.


Condition, operation, security and correct colour. The headlamps will also be checked to see if the aim is correct.  Headlight aim problems are not usually that expensive to solve unless your vehicle has automated level adjustment which is not working

Steering and Suspension

Correct condition and operation


When operated they should give the driver a clear view of the road.  A new pair of wiper blades is so cheap it really isn't worth risking a MOT failure


Condition and drivers view of the road.  If you have fully comprehensive car insurance windscreen repairs are often free (with no excess).  In order to repair a windscreen it is important to deal with small cracks as soon as they appear as they tend to spread


Correct operation and type


All seatbelts installed are checked for type, condition, operation and security. All compulsory seatbelts must be in place.


Front seats secure. Front and rear backseats can be secured in the upright position.

Fuel System

No leaks, fuel cap fastens correctly and seals securely. The fuel cap will need to be opened. Make sure the key is available.

Exhaust Emissions

Vehicle meets the requirement for exhaust emission. These vary on the age and fuel type of the vehicle.  A good tip is to take your vehicle for a long run to make the engine hot as a hot engine will tend to emit less pollution than a cold one.  It could make the difference between a pass and a fail.

Exhaust System

Complete, secure, without serious leaks and silences effectively.

Vehicle Structure

Free from excessive corrosion or damage in specific areas. No sharp edges.


Open and close. Latch securely in closed position. Front doors should open from inside and outside the vehicle. Rear doors may need to be opened to gain access to testable items.


Presence, condition and security

Wheels and Tyres

Condition, security, tyre size/type and tread depth. Try to avoid having to have your tyres fitted where you have your MOT as it reduces your ability to shop around and get the best price.  There are a few tyre companies that allow you to buy your tyres on the internet at reduced prices and have them fitted where you work or at home


Condition operation and performance (efficiency test). Wheels are not removed during the test. The tester only examines what they can see, reach or feel.



















Car Insurance
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Help if you are in an accident with an uninsured driver
How do I recover my uninsured expenses
Car Security
Tips on keeping your car secure
Learning to drive
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Nothing on this site should be construed as financial advice
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