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National Service Network

The MOT Test


If your car is older than three years you will need to take it into a garage for a MOT test. After that, you will need to go through the test every year, as the MOT is only valid for a year. It's better to take the car in for the MOT test before it’s actually due. This is as a precaution in case the car fails the test and a re-test is required. In case you delay in getting the test done and the car fails the test, you will not be able to use the car till it clears the test. So it's best to get the test done early and avoid the loss of use of your main form of transport. There is a network of MOT test centres throughout the UK. Therefore, booking a date for the test at a conveniently located MOT test centre should not be a hassle.

In the MOT test the following components of a car will be tested. The vehicle registration number is checked to ensure that it is legibly displayed on the front and rear of the car. The registration plates are checked to ensure they are secure, and the format of the letters and numbers is as per the rule.

  • The condition, colour, operation and security of the lights are checked. The test also checks to see if the headlamps are properly aimed.
  • The steering and suspension systems are checked to see that they are in proper working condition.
  • The wipers and washer bottle are checked to ensure that they are working properly and the driver's view is not obstructed.
  • The windscreen is checked to ensure that there are no chips or cracks in it that may impair the driver's visibility.
  • The horn is tested to ensure that it's working properly, and its type and effectiveness is correct.
  • All seatbelts are checked to ensure they are the correct type and are in proper working condition.
  • Seats are checked for security, especially the front seats.
  • The fuel system is checked to ensure there are no leaks and that the filler cap fits properly.
  • The MOT test will check the car's emissions to ensure that they are within the defined limits.
  • The car's bodywork is checked to ensure there is no corrosion, or any sharp edges.
  • The doors are checked to ensure that they open and close properly and the latches are working. The front doors are checked from both the inside and outside. The bonnet and boot latches are also tested.
  • All the mirrors are checked to ensure that they are secure and operate properly.
  • The brakes are tested to check their efficiency, operation and braking performance.
  • The condition of the wheels and tyres are checked. Along with the overall condition, tread depth, security, tyre size and type are also tested.

These are the points that are tested during a MOT test. So make sure that these features are in proper working condition and will conform to the requirements before you take your car in for a MOT test. Even a cracked or loose side mirror can cause the car to fail the test. It would be a good idea to get a mock MOT test done by your car service centre prior to the real thing.

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