During my car’s MOT what exactly is checked?

29th July 2019
image of spanner and mot certificate

Are you sending your car in for your MOT soon? Are you worried it might fail? Here are some of the crucial checks that will be completed on your vehicle.

Electric Equipment

Lights, reflectors as well as a variety of electrical equipment will all be tested. It’s important that reflectors are positioned correctly and lights, as well as reflectors, are in good condition. They should not be obscured and must show the right colour as well. They need to operate on a single use of the switch and the headlight aim will be checked too. The horn needs to be working effectively while the battery needs to be completely secure.


Usually, a brake performance test will always be a crucial aspect of a MOT. At the same time, the condition of pedals, levers and the brake discs will be checked. Warning lights will be explored and reasons for these will be considered before determining whether the car passes or fails the MOT.

Suspension and Steering

Various aspects of the steering and suspension are checked including the shock absorbers. Testers will be looking for signs of corrosion and fraction here. In terms of steering, there will be checks of wear or damage to key components that could make a vehicle significantly more difficult to control.

Tyres And Wheels

Tyres need to be the right load rating and speed. The tread also needs to be no lower than 1.6mm. Tyres will further be checked for significant signs of wear and tear. This could include anything from bulges to tears. The wheels need to be in good condition too and it’s important to make sure that the warning light operates correctly if there is one.

Body Structure

There are multiple checks to the body and structure of the car as well as some of the more standard items. For instance, the speedometer must be illuminated but it doesn’t matter if the glass is cracked if it is still readable. Registration plates need to be fitted and be clear while the bodywork needs to be free from issues including corrosion. There can also not be any sharp edges that could cause an injury.
Seat Belts will also be examined to ensure that they do provide the right level of protection.

Exhaust System

Exhausts will be explored to ensure that the exhaust system is operating correctly and doesn’t have any leaks. The tank cap must also provide the right seal while emissions will be checked as well. This will ensure that the car does not cause excessive damage to the environment. This can result in a MOT failure. It must be within the legal limit.


Finally, wipers and mirrors will be checked to ensure that they do provide a clear view of the road. These must be secure and be operating effectively to pass. The windscreen will also be checked and there can’t be any issues that obstruct vision which is larger than 10mm within the driver’s view. Other areas can’t have issues larger than 40mm.