The MOT Test

The MOT is effectively the examination of a motor vehicle’s safety-related systems components to ensure that they have not worn to an excessive level which would otherwise render the vehicle unsafe for use on the road. It is possible for items to pass the MOT inspection and yet still be regarded as past their service life at a routine service.

Fortunately garages which do have a current MOT Testing permit and the necessary specialised training will not judge normal wear of a component as being an MOT ‘failure’, whereas a less experienced servicing mechanic would not appreciate the distinction. By utilising the services of an MOT Testing Centre you are likely to save time and money and reduce the risk of Appeals to the Vehicle Inspectorate where you car may have been failed on the wrong grounds.

Here is a full list of the vehicle components tested.

Vehicle Identification Number

Not more than one different identification number should be present on a vehicle first used on or after 1 August 1980. However, the same number may be displayed in more than one place.
Registration Plate
Condition, security, legibility and format of letters/numbers.
Condition, operation, security and correct colour. The headlamps will also be checked to see if the aim is correct.
Steering and Suspension
Correct condition and operation
Operate to give the driver a clear view of the road
Condition and drivers view of the road
Correct operation and type
All seatbelts installed are checked for type, condition, operation and security. All compulsory seatbelts must be in place.
Front seats secure. Front and rear backseats can be secured in the upright position.
Fuel System
No leaks, fuel cap fastens correctly and seals securely. The fuel cap will need to be opened. Make sure the key is available.
Exhaust Emissions
Vehicle meets the requirement for exhaust emission. These vary on the age and fuel type of the vehicle.
Exhaust System
Complete, secure, without serious leaks and silences effectively.
Vehicle Structure
Free from excessive corrosion or damage in specific areas. No sharp edges.
Open and close. Latch securely in closed position. Front doors should open from inside and outside the vehicle. Rear doors may need to be opened to gain access to testable items.
Presence, condition and security
Wheels and Tyres
Condition, security, tyre size/type and tread depth. Spare tyres are not inspected.
Condition operation and performance (efficiency test). Wheels are not removed during the test. The tester only examined what they can see, reach or feel.