A Short Guide to MOT Vehicle Testing in the United Kingdom

If you own a car that is more than 3 years old, it must undergo an annual inspection called an MOT test, which is designed to check whether or not the vehicle is roadworthy. The test takes just over an hour, and prior to booking the car in for the test, you should have the following checked.

  • Steering & Suspension – A general inspection to see that both steering and shock absorbers are working properly.
  • Lights – The test includes checking the headlights, main beam, indicators, reversing lights, brake lights and the small bulbs that illuminate the number plate.
  • Brakes & Handbrake – The car will be put onto a rolling road and the brakes tested for effectiveness, while the handbrake is checked for correct tension.
  • Seatbelts – Checked to ensure they work and that there are no tears on the fabric.
  • Exhaust System – Inspected for a secure fixing and signs of corrosion, and for excessive pollution.

The test technician will inspect the car bodywork, looking for rust and sharp edges that might be a danger to pedestrians.

Failing the Test

In the event the car does not pass the MOT test, the examiner will give you a report, and most will carry out the repairs while you wait, and retest for free. Prior to booking the car in, you should inspect all of the above and carry out any necessary repairs, and the car should then pass with flying colours.

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