MOT Test Details

Categories on an MOT Test are:

  1. Instrument Panel
  2. Registration Plates & Vehicle Identification Number
  3. Tow Bar
  4. Steering
  5. Horn
  6. Lights
  7. Doors, Bonnet & Boot
  8. Structure(Body)
  9. Seats & Seatbelts
  10. Brakes
  11. Windscreen
  12. Mirrors
  13. Suspension
  14. Exhaust & Emissions
  15. Fuel System
  16. Tyres


Instrument Panel Checks

  1. Speedometer – must be present, in good condition and must be able to illuminate.
  2. Steering – Electronic steering lock or power steering lamps must not be indicating a malfunction
  3. Lights – 'tell-tale' device does not illuminate when main beam is selected.
  4. SRS indicator lamp must not be illuminated
  5. EPB warning lamp must not be illuminated
  6. ESC warning lamp must not be illuminated
  7. Brake Fluid warning lamp must not be illuminated
  8. EBS warning lamp must not be illuminated
  9. ABS/ESC checked for presence and condition
  10. TPMS must operate and not show fault in the system


Registration Plates & VIN Checks

  1. VIN number must be complete, permanently displayed, consistent and legible.
  2. Registration plates must be : Present, secure, clear, clean and visible.
  3. Registration plate letters and numbers must be of the correct font with correct spacing.
  4. Front plates must be black writing with white background and rear plates must be black writing with yellow background.
  5. Honeycomb background is not allowed.
  6. Pre 1973 Vehicles may have plates displaying white, grey or silver font on a black background.


Tow Bar Checks


  1. Tow-bar components must not be insecure, fractured, damaged, corroded or excessively worn.
  2. Excessive corrosion within 30cm of the tow-bar mounting will also mean a failure.
  3. Tow-bar assembly must be attached to the vehicle structure using a mounting, support or fixing which is of an appropriate size or type.
  4. Retaining device must be present and secure.
  5. Locking device must be present, secure, adequate and must be operational.
  6. Play between detachable tow-ball and its receiver socket must not be excessive.
  7. Quick release mechanism must secure the tow-ball arm as intended.
  8. Tow-bar assembly must not be inappropriately repaired or modified.
  9. Trailer electrical sockets must not be insecure, damaged or deteriorated to the point that a connecting lead could not be securely connected.
  10. Trailer socket must operate trailer lamps as intended
  11. Wiring must not be showing exposed conductors.


Steering Checks


Inside the car.

  1. Steering wheel must be in an acceptable condition
  2. Steering wheel must be securely attached to the steering shaft
  3. The steering lock mechanism must be present, operating correctly and engaging properly.
  4. Power steering warning lamp must not be illuminated.
  5. Upper bearings of the steering column are tested for excessive wear.
  6. Steering shaft must not have excessive end float.
  7. Clamping bolts must all be secure.
  8. Split pins and locking nuts must all be secure.
  9. Free play in the steering must be within the limits
  10. All flexible couplings and universal joints are checked


Under the bonnet.

If it can be observed.

  1. Security of the steering rack/box and the mountings.
  2. Play in steering joints
  3. Any other swivel joints which form part of the steering system.


Under Vehicle Checks.


  1. All steering joints will be inspected, while steering is under load.
  2. Power steering systems are checked with engine running.
  3. Power steering fluid is checked with engine switched off.
  4. Steering rack/box is checked that the nuts/bolts are tight and there is no structural cracking or corrosion of the chassis where it is attached.
  5. Wheels are checked for smoothness of turning and to ensure that they do not touch the vehicle structure or any brake pipes or hoses.
  6. Wheel bearings are checked.
  7. Steering rack gaiters and constant velocity joint boots are examined.
  8. Ball joint dust covers are inspected to ensure they are not allowing dirt to ingress.
  9. Bushes, split pins, locking nuts, along with any other locking/retaining devices are checked which relate to steering components.
  10. Rear wheel steering is checked if present.
  11. Any repairs or modification to steering linkage or power steering must be appropriate.
  12. Steering stop lock must be present on cars which have it fitted as standard.
  13. Steering box must not be showing signs of a significant oil leak.
  14. Power steering fluid must be above the minimum level.
  15. Power steering pipes and hoses must not be damaged, corroded or fouling.
  16. Power steering components must not be fouling or misaligned if they are on an external power steering system.
  17. Drive shafts (excluding prop shaft) support must not be worn excessively and coupling gaiter must be present and preventing the ingress of dirt.


Horn Checks


  1. Horn must operate
  2. Control can be reached easily by the driver.
  3. Horn must be loud enough
  4. Horn must be a non-sequential tone
  5. Horn must be continuous.


Light Checks


Doors, Bonnet & Boot Check


  1. Bonnet must be able to be safely secured in the closed position.
  2. Bonnet retaining device must be effective, secure and in good condition.
  3. Both front doors must be able to be opened from inside and out and must latch securely.
  4. Passenger door must be able to be opened from the outside, using relevant control.
  5. All door hinges, catches and pillars will be assessed for the ease of which the door opens and closes, and the security of which the door stays closed.
  6. All tail-gates/boot-lids must be able to be secure in the closed position.


Structure (Body) Checks


Seats & Seatbelts Checks


Brake Checks


Windscreen Checks


Mirror Checks


  1. Mirrors which are checked during an MOT test must be secure and visible from the drivers seat.
  2. Mirrors must not be distorted or damaged so the the driver has a clear view of the road.


Suspension Checks


Exhaust & Emissions Checks


  1. Exhaust system must be present and in good condition.
  2. Catalytic Converter must be present if fitted as standard.
  3. Mounting must be present and in good condition so that exhaust system is secure.
  4. Exhaust system must have no leaks.
  5. Exhaust system must be of a reasonable noise level.
  6. Exhaust tailpipes must be positioned so that fumes are not likely to enter the driver or passenger areas.
  7. Emissions are tested with specialised equipment which measures the amount of pollution coming out of the exhaust, if it is too high the vehicle will fail.
  8. Excessive smoke will mean a failure.




Fuel System Checks


  1. Fuel Cap must fasten securely.
  2. Fuel cap seal must be present and in good condition.
  3. Fuel tank must be securely mounted.
  4. Fuel hoses and pipes must not be excessively worn or damaged.
  5. Fuel system must have no leaks.


Tyre Checks


  1. Tyres must have at least 1.6mm tread depth over the central three quarters of the width of the tyre, over the entire circumference of the tyre.
  2. Tyres must be correctly matched with regard to type, size and structure.
  3. Tyres must be fitted in accordance with side-wall markings.
  4. Tyres on the same axle must be of same structure and size.
  5. Tyres and tyre valves must be in good general condition, with no dangerous cuts or bulges.
  6. Wheels must not be damaged, distorted, cracked and must be securely attached to the vehicle.
  7. Wheel nuts/studs must all be present
  8. Spare wheels and spare wheel carriers must be securely attached so that they don't fall off.


How vehicles are tested

We have a designated test bay where the test is conducted, using a range of equipment that meets the required specification for MOT testing. The standard test procedures are laid out in an inspection manual.

If your vehicle has failed the test, you’ll be given a failure document with reference to this manual. You can watch the test from a designated viewing area but you are not allowed to interrupt the tester while working.

All MOT testers have been on a training course with the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) and their test results are checked regularly.

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