MOT Tips – It’s about that time of year, your MOT is due on your car or van…Research from the Driver and Vehicles Standards Agency (DVSA) state that 40% of cars and half of all vans fail their MOT at the first attempt and more often than not it’ll be something trivial that lets you down.
Is a MOT test required?
An MOT test is required by law to ensure a vehicle is roadworthy and with ramifications such as a £1000 fine, penalty points and loss of insurance cover it is imperative to have that valid MOT certificate for your vehicle – here are some top tips for getting your vehicle through its MOT.
Reasons for failed MOT test
Research shows that around 1.5 million vehicles fail their MOT due to minor issues such as too little tyre tread, empty windscreen washer fluid and faulty bulbs; highlighting the fact that many failures could be avoided with a few simple checks before taking a vehicle to be tested.
How to avoid a failed MOT test?
- Approximately 30% of cars fail due to faulty lighting. A simple check of your lights, both inside and outside before your MOT test takes a couple of minutes and well-doing – if any need replacing always follow the manufacturer’s advice.
- Most vehicles have two brake lights integrated into other rear-facing lights and a brake strip light. Ask a friend or family member to stand behind your car when pressing the brake pedal to check they work.
- Check your vehicles number plates are legal. There are plenty of helpful guides online to see if yours conforms.
- Tyre problems are a major factor in MOT fails. The legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm, although we would recommend you fit new tyres well before then as tyres can cause a number of issues whilst driving, including noise, driver comfort, suspension etc. Check that all tyre pressures are correct and that the tyres are not damaged.
- Check your vehicle’s seats to ensure they don’t move around when driving. Seatbelts should not be frayed and in good working order, you can quickly pull on all seatbelts to make sure they react correctly too.
- Check your windscreen carefully before an MOT, any chips or cracks larger than 1 cm could cause your vehicle to fail. Ensure your wipers clean the windscreen well enough to give you a clear view of the road.
- Make sure you check your windscreen washer fluid is topped up sufficiently as some garages will charge extra to top it up. An empty windscreen washer fluid container is one of the biggest causes of MOT fails.
- Ensure your vehicle has adequate levels of oil. Oil is a vital component of all engines and lack of it can seriously damage your vehicle. Fuel is required to test emissions and an MOT centre is under no obligation to put fuel in your vehicle to complete the MOT.
- Press your horn firmly and make sure it sounds well. Your horn should be clearly labelled and in an easily accessible place. Read your previous MOT test comments, as they may advise that something like a tyre needs changing shortly. If you don’t understand, ask the mechanic that conducted your test.