What You Need to Know Before Taking Your Vehicle for an MOT Test

16th January 2023
test papers MOT

If you own a car, then it’s likely that you’ve heard about the mandatory annual MOT test – but do you know what it is, and what it covers? It can be daunting to take your vehicle for its MOT test, but understanding what’s involved can make the process easier.

An MOT test is an annual check-up of a car’s safety and roadworthiness that is required by law for all vehicles over three years old. It examines several aspects of your car to ensure it meets certain standards before allowing it on the road.

There is a set test fee which all test centres will be aware of, refer to the government website for updates to MOT testing fees.

Here’s everything you need to know about getting your car MOT’d.

What is a car MOT and why do you need one every year?

A car MOT is an important annual check-up for your vehicle. It’s like a health check-up, but for cars! It helps to keep you and other drivers safe on the roads. During a MOT, an experienced technician will check several components on your car, including headlights, brakes and suspension.

They’ll also examine the exhaust emissions and other environmental factors, ensuring your car meets the legal standards set out in the UK.

So why should you bother with a MOT each year? It’s all about ensuring your car is roadworthy and that you are abiding by the law, but more than that. If you don’t have a current MOT pass then your insurance will be invalid. It’s a legal requirement in the UK to have a valid MOT certificate.

How to prepare your car for its MOT test

MOT Testing Centre

Preparation is key when it comes to a successful MOT test. Before you take your car in for its this important test, make sure that you understand the requirements and check to ensure that your car is ready.

You can find the latest Government guidance with regards to MOT testing here.

Make sure that you have all of your paperwork in order and up-to-date.

Making sure everything is in order before you take your car to the MOT test centre can help alleviate any nasty surprises as well as helping reduce costs.

We have a helpful checklist that we’ve prepared which you might find useful but as an overview these are the areas that are reviewed during MOT tests:

  • Tyres
  • Lights
  • Suspension and Brakes
  • Exhaust, Fuel System and Emissions
  • Horn
  • Registration Plate
  • Vehicle Registration Number
  • Vehicle Identificaiton Number
  • Seats and Seat Belts
  • Mirrors
  • Windscreen Wipers and Washers
  • Windscreen
  • Petrol

For our MOT checklist click here.

What happens during the MOT test itself

Going for your MOT can seem a bit daunting if you don’t know what should be expected. It is actually quite a comprehensive process to ensure that your vehicle is running safely and legally.

During the MOT test itself, there are numerous checks undertaken to examine different systems and components of your vehicle, such as its brakes, steering, suspension and exhaust system. Technicians also check to make sure all lights, including headlights, fog lights, indicators and brake lights are working correctly.

In addition to this they ensure seats and seatbelts are in good condition while checking that the windscreen, windows and mirrors meet the legal standards.

This will also involve determining if any emissions from the vehicle exceed a set threshold or not. While it may take some time for your car to go through these tests, plenty of preventive maintenance measures can be taken by drivers themselves to guarantee an enjoyable test experience.

Small issues during the MOT test

At Clover Auto’s we will contact during the process if there are small issues that can easily be resolved. It can work out much more cost effective to get them resolved straight away rather than failing the test and having to fix and then retest again.

Having said that, we will always check with the owner before carrying out any additional works and so leaving a contact number that we can get hold of you on, or waiting close by whilst the MOT testing is taking place can ensure any minor repairs or issues are dealt with straight away and that your vehicle still passes the test.

What to do if your car fails its MOT test

If it is something more serious that cannot be fixed quickly and easily or their are multiple problems and your vehicle fails its full MOT test please don’t panic.

Our expert technicians will talk you through any dangerous faults or why the vehicle is not deemed to be in a roadworthy condition.

You may have to book in for any repairs and organise a re test. Once the vehicle has been repaired you can book in for a re test, often this can be done at the same time as any necessary repairs.

So there you have it – everything you need to know about car MOTs! Make sure to get yours booked in plenty of time, and if your car does happen to fail its test, don’t despair. Just follow the steps outlined above and you’ll be back on the road before you know it.

To book in for your MOT test, contact us today.