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Things to Check Before Taking Your Car for its MOT

We all have to take our car to the MOT centre once a year and it can sometimes be costly if things aren’t looked after properly. We have conducted a short guide on the main things to look at before taking your car for the real test. Of course, most of the repairs will need to be carried out at a garage like Freeway, but some things can be prevented if caught early on.

Exterior Checklist

  1. Lights & indicators

It’s important that other drivers are able to understand your intentions on the road. Check that your headlights, sidelights, rear lights and indicators are working. We would recommend that you get a friend or family member to stand outside next to the vehicle when carrying out these checks as they will be able to confirm for you that the lights are working.  

  1. Tyres

So many cars fail the MOT test due to tyres not being the right tread depth or in a poor condition. If you don’t have a tread depth tester then simply check the depth using a 20p coin. If your tyres do not meet the minimum legal requirement, which is 1.6mm, then it will be an automatic fail.

  1. Number plate

This one may be overlooked but it’s important nevertheless. You can be fined up to £1000 if your number plates are illegible. The law also states that ‘Number plates should show your vehicle registration number correctly.’  If you have personalised number plates they should also comply with current legislation.

  1. Mirrors

Your mirrors should be securely attached to your vehicle, with no major damage to any of them. This includes both wing mirrors and your interior mirror. Your mirrors should provide you with a good view of the road and the rear of your vehicle. 

  1. Windscreen & Wipers

Your car may fail its MOT the windscreen and its wipers are not in good condition. The washers should provide enough liquid/screen wash to clear your windscreen when it is dirty as this can affect your vision of the road. Ideally, your windscreen should also not have any chips or cracks on it. 

Checking Car Before MOT

Interior Checklist

  1. Seatbelt

The first thing you should check inside your car is the seatbelt. The seatbelt should be in good working order and come across the body fully. Pull against the seatbelt to check that it reacts the way it should as this will protect the driver and passengers in the event of a crash.

  1. Handbrake

Your car’s handbrake should keep the car stationary, especially on hill or road with an incline. Test this yourself before the MOT test. If your handbrake is not working properly you should ensure it is looked at due to the potential danger.    

  1. Warning Lights

Once you’ve turned your car on and the main dashboard lights up, it will present you with any warnings that are present. Potential warning lights include the airbag light, engine light, tyre pressure warning and much more. If your car has picked up a fault and displays a warning light, it might be worth getting it looked at before your test to save yourself lots of hassle.

Things to Check Before Taking Your Car for its MOT


We hope you have found our guide useful. If you require any more information or advice on checking your vehicle, please do not hesitate to get in touch. We also offer comprehensive MOT tests here at Freeway, so be sure to book yours in good time for the due date! Give us a call on 01892 520022 to speak with one of the team today!

Written on 25th February 2019

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