Doing a few simple pre-MOT checks like inspecting your lights, before your MOT can help reduce the costs of getting your car through it.
From 2014 to 2015 the DVSA carried out 29,341,115 MoTs. Of those, 8,409,713 failed the first time – that’s 38%!
The most common MOT failures are
- Tyres and wheels
- Drivers view or the road
- Steering and suspension
Top 8 things to check
Some MOT fails are more difficult to check than others, so we haven’t put those ones on our list. A light not working is fairly obvious, but not many people can tell if their steering or steering wheel isn’t working perfectly. The brake fluid and the suspension will also be checked during the MOT.
You may see some online advice that says you should check your oil, water level, coolant and screenwash levels, but these aren’t checked as part of your MOT. That said, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on these easy-to-check things. Topping up your water and oil is easy and necessary, and keeping your car in good condition will save you money in the long run.
The legal minimum tyre tread depth for cars in the UK is 1.6mm, but you should never let them get this low. To check your tyres, place a 20p coin into the main tread grooves of your tyre. If the outer band of the coin is obscured when it is inserted, then your tread is legal. Also, check for cracking of the rubber, deformation or uneven tyre wear.
To do this, look up what they should be in your manual, and fill top them up at a petrol station. If you’re a little unsure then pop into your local Fast-Fit and our staff will be able to assist you.
Mirrors, wipers and washers
It’s important all of these are in good working order, so work your way around them making sure. A quick visual check takes seconds.
Ask someone to stand outside the car while you go through all the indicators, brake lights, fog lights, main beam and dip beam. Don’t forget your rear lights and hazards too.
Make sure your registration plate is not broken or the characters obscured. A dirty number plate can be a fine too if the police spot you.
Make sure both pedal and handbrake are working well.
Inspect the operation of seat belts by pulling them suddenly. If working, they should lock and allow no further movement until pressure is released. Don’t forget to do all of them!
Look for warning lights on your dash.
Is the windscreen damaged with scratches, chips or cracks? Damage in the driver’s central view should be no larger than 10mm. In the whole of the swept area, it should be no larger than 40mm.