What is an MOT?
An MOT (Ministry of Transport test) is an annual safety check that ensures your vehicle meets the minimum road safety standards, including regulated exhaust emissions levels put in place by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency.
During this test, important components of your vehicle will be checked to ensure that they meet the legal standards and that your vehicle is safe to drive. In May 2018, new MOT rules mean any defects will be categorised as either dangerous, major or minor.
If your car passes its MOT, it may still have minor faults (which should be fixed as soon as possible to prevent it getting worse). It could also be passed with advisories, which means you should keep an eye on the issue and repair it if it gets worse.
Does my car need an MOT?
If your car is more than three years old, you are legally obliged to have an MOT. If you struggle to remember when your MOT is due, you can sign up for government reminders by text message or email. Without a valid MOT, your car is not considered roadworthy; you won’t be able to renew your vehicle tax or insurance, and in short, you won’t be able to drive your car.
What work is carried out in an MOT?
Whilst the MOT does not cover the condition of the engine, clutch or gearbox, it does look at other key components of your car, so you need to keep on top of your car’s maintenance in order to pass.
The MOT tester will look at the body of the car, the vehicle structure and general condition of the car, ensuring that it’s free from excessive damage in any particular areas. They’ll also look at tow bars, fuel/exhaust systems, seatbelts, seats, doors, mirrors, load security, brakes, tyres/wheels, lights, the bonnet, the windscreen, wipers/washers, the horn, steering/suspension and electrical components.
It sounds like a lot, and may seem almost impossible to pass: just how do you make sure that all those things are working correctly day after day?
The truth is, there will be elements of your car that you won’t be able to check yourself; however, there are parts that you can inspect and you should make sure that they are in good condition and full working order before going in for your MOT, otherwise you could fail on something minor and relatively simple to solve.
If your car passes its MOT, it may still have minor faults (which should be fixed as soon as possible to prevent it getting worse). It could also be passed with advisories, which means you should keep an eye on the issue and repair it if it gets worse