Every driver will have to take their vehicle for an MOT at some point in order to make sure that it continues to meet road safety and environmental standards. You’ll need to make sure the appropriate checks are carried out either by the third anniversary of the registration of your car or, if it’s over three years old, by the anniversary of its last MOT.
It’s a good idea to give your car a good onceover before you head off to your local garage, however, as this will maximise your chances of passing the test, saving you lots of time and money.
All too often, it’s the little things that drivers miss that means they fail their tests, such as tyre tread depth, faulty light bulbs and so on, and these are easy to sort out yourself.
One of the first checks you should make in the week or so ahead of your test is to assess the front of the vehicle for damage here can cause a fail. Make sure you pay close attention to the windscreen, as it’s essential that there are no chips or cracks.
If you do find any, you’ll need to get someone out to fix your windscreen before you take your car into the garage. You may want to monitor your windscreen on a regular basis so that you can address any issues quickly, which will be a lot easier and cheaper than if they’re allowed to get worse.
Small chips can be repaired using an acrylic adhesive to seal it and prevent moisture and dirt from getting in, but any bigger cracks will prove more problematic to deal with. It’s possible that you may have to replace the windscreen.
Once you’ve checked the windscreen, move onto the windscreen wipers. If there are any holes or tears in the rubber, you may fail your MOT. And also make sure that you fill the screenwash bottle, as an empty one could also see you chalk up a failure.
It’s important to check that all the lights on the car work properly as well, including your hazard lights and indicators. Check the brake lights by pressing down on the brake pedal and asking someone to make sure they’re coming on.
Interestingly, if your car is too dirty, you could fail your test so make sure that you give it a good clean, inside and out, before taking the test.
Your tyres and wheels will need to be checked for damage, since if your tyres have a tread depth of under 1.6mm you’ll have to take the test again. And also make sure you check your seats and seatbelts for any damage, pulling on all the belts to make sure they work properly if you need to brake sharply.