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The MOT Test

It is a legal requirement that all vehicles 3 years and over have an annual MOT Test carried out by a DVSA (formally VOSA) approved MOT Test centre. Under the DVSA guidelines, your car’s identification, the inside of your car, bodywork/outside of your car and the car’s engine will all be checked in detail.

What is checked:

Your Car

Inside your car

Your cars exterior

The Engine

Your Car


The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) must legibly displayed on your vehicle. The Vehicle registration plate should be in good condition, legible and have the correct format and spacing on letters and numbers. A wrongly spaced number plate (moving letters close together to form a word/name) will cause an MOT Test failure.

Inside your car


Seats; Your driver's and passengers' seats must be secure, and your driver's seat must also be fully adjustable. All seats within your car must be able to remain in an upright position.

Seatbelts; All Seats in your car must have seatbelts. All seatbelts (including your rear seats) must be the correct type, be in the correct working condition, be completely secure and operate correctly. Your airbags, seatbelt pre-tensioners and load limiters will also be checked via your Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL).

Horn; Your car horn must be legal and must be in full working order.

Speedometer; Your car's speedometer must be accurate and operating correctly.

Your car's exterior


Bodywork and general structure; Your vehicle must be free from excessive corrosion or damage in MOT outlined areas. This includes any sharp edges on the vehicle that may cause injury.

Electrical Socket; The 13 pin electrical socket will now be tested during the MOT.

Doors; Your vehicle's doors must be securable in a closed position. Each of your front doors must open from both the inside and outside, whilst the rear doors must open from the outside. Each of the hinges will be checked for security and condition.

Mirrors; Your vehicle should have, at least the minimum amount of mirrors, all of which should be in the correct condition and securely attached to your vehicle. This includes indirect vision devices.

Lights; The condition, operation and security of your vehicle's headlamps (including HID and LED) will be checked. The MOT will also check each of your vehicle's lights are the correct colour and that your vehicle's headlamps are correctly aimed.

Bonnet; Your bonnet must securely latch when closed.

Windscreen; Your visibility will be checked through the windscreen. Any visible cracks and chips will be examined.

Wipers/Washers; Your front and rear windscreen wipers will be checked to ensure they operate correctly, and give you a clear view of the road.

Tyres; Your tyres must be the correct size and type for your vehicle. The condition, security and tread depth of your tyres will also be checked.

The Engine


Steering and Suspension; The steering on your vehicle will be thoroughly checked as part of the MOT. Steering oil level and condition of your steering is checked, including any incorrect repairs and modifications. Your steering pipes/hoses will be checked for corrosion and loss of power. Your MOT tester will check the operation of your steering lock mechanism and the MIL for electronic power steering and your steering lock.

Electrical; Your car's battery and all electrical wiring will be checked for functionality and condition.

Brakes; The condition, performance and safety of your brakes will be rigorously tested, including incorrect repairs or modifications. Where relevant, ABS and ESC will be tested as will the dashboard functions, including the MIL for ABS, ESC, brake fluid warning and electronic park break (where applicable).

Exhaust Emissions; Your vehicle will be checked to ensure it meets the correct requirements for exhaust emissions (dependant on age and fuel type).

Exhaust; Your exhaust will be checked for security and that it is complete. If a catalyst is specified for your exhaust, your MOT tester will check if it is missing. Your exhaust will also be checked for any serious leaks, and noise levels will be examined.

For further information about the MOT testing process please visit https://www.gov.uk/browse/driving/mot-insurance.