What is tested in a car MOT

MOT – what is tested?

In addition to being a legal requirement of all cars aged 3 or over, having a valid MOT test certificate is a good way of ensuring that your car is safe and roadworthy.

The test is focused on road safety, and prevention of any deterioration to your car that may cause an accident or breakdown.

Knowing what your MOT test centre will be looking for helps you keep an eye on any problems which may develop, and could help you avoid paying extra for repairs when your test is due.

  • Car Horn – the horn should be fully working, and loud enough to be heard by other road users.
  • Lights – all lights are checked to ensure they're in good working condition, and have cases free from cracks and sharp edges.
  • Bonnet catch – this will be checked to make sure the bonnet is held in position safely, for obvious safety reasons.
  • Number plates – your vehicle number plates must be clearly visible, and conform to standard specifications.
  • Steering – your car's steering is essential to its safety. Any play in the steering column or damage to this mechanism will cause your car to fail.
  • Doors – All doors will be checked to ensure they are properly secure when closed. Front doors must open from the inside and out.
  • Corrosion – Excessive corrosion can affect the operation of parts essential to the safety of your car.
  • Seats – will be tested to ensure they are correctly and safely seated.
  • Safety belts – any tears in the belt may cause failure. Your garage will also test for a fully working lock/ release catch and that your belt retracts properly.
  • Brakes – both foot brake and hand brake are checked thoroughly for efficiency and wear.
  • Windscreen, washers and wipers – anything which reduces visibility from your car may cause test failure, including chips, cracks or stickers on the glass, as well as reduced wiper and washer function.
  • Mirrors – all mirrors must show a clear view of the area to the rear, and be visible from the driver's seat.
  • Suspension – must be in good working order. A wide range of different suspension systems in cars means the test procedure varies.
  • Emissions – your exhaust must be in good working order to pass the emissions test. Any holes or gaps in attachments may cause MOT failure
  • Tyres – will be checked for excessive wear, amount of tread, cuts, bulges and damage or wear to the valves.

Armed with this knowledge, you can carry out regular checks at home or in the forecourt, to ensure that you go to your MOT test centre fully-prepared. 

It's also important to choose a reputable and properly-equipped garage employing fully-qualified, certified mechanics. At every Unipart Car Care Centre, we take care to ensure that all of our staff and facilities don't just meet your expectations – we aim to exceed them.

If you're looking for value for money, we believe you won't find better than your local Unipart garage. All of our centres are rated and reviewed regularly by customers just like you, to help you make the right choice when you need quality and service.