Prepare car for MOT

Preparing for your MOT test: a quick guide

With a national MOT failure rate of about one in three, it makes sense to minimise the risk of failure before booking your car in for its test by carrying out a few simple checks.

Most failures are the result of minor problems that aren't very expensive to fix – some can even be done at home.

This page shows you how to get your car ready for its MOT, and increase your chances of passing without a hitch.

Windscreen wipers and washers

Start your car and check that your washers and wipers are working. Pay particular attention to the wipers – do they properly clear the screen on each pass? Worn or torn wiper blades can impair visibility, and may be a cause of test failure. If in doubt, replace them. While you're at it, check the level in your washer reservoir. 

Tyre treads and pressure

If you're taking proper care of your car, you'll check the tyres regularly as a matter of course. But even if this is the case, it makes sense to check again before setting off for your MOT test. Ensure that your tyres have a minimum of 1.6mm of tread over three-quarters of the contact area. Also check for cuts, bulges or any objects stuck in the tread. All of these issues can contribute to test failure.


Check all of your lights, including your hazard warning lights, side lights and main beam. Also check the light casing, as cracks and sharp edges may cause your vehicle to fail its MOT.


So often overlooked by motorists, the seatbelt is a surprisingly-common cause of MOT failure, especially for customers who have pet dogs. Check that every belt is free from torn or chewed edges, and that it locks into its socket properly.


In addition to being crucial for the safety of your car, properly-functioning brakes are a requirement of the MOT test. Check that your foot brake doesn't feel spongy, and that your hand brake doesn't require too much effort to engage.

Paying simple attention to all of the above on a regular basis will help keep your car in a safe and roadworthy condition, and may just save you a little money and stress when your next MOT test comes around.

Let us remind you

In addition to providing a first-class MOT testing service that also offers excellent value for money, we also provide a convenient reminder service. Fill in your details on this page and we'll contact you when your next MOT test is due, and we'll even send you details of your nearest Unipart Car Care Centre.