Prepare your car for the MOT

An MOT takes around 45 minutes (Book your MOT here). Preparing your car for its MOT doesn’t have to be too time consuming, here are a few simple checks you can carry out before you take it in to the garage to help it pass. If you find any issues with your car, some are relatively easy to fix and can be fixed yourself, however, some you may need to pop down to our garage to get it fixed before your test.


Check all your lights are working. You may need to ask someone to help you with the brake lights. Don’t forget to check that your hazard lights and number plate lights are also working. If you notice any faults with your lights it may be more cost-effective to source new bulbs before visiting the MOT Test Centre.

Window Wipers

Check the wiper blades – any splits in the rubber will mean a fail. Also check they wipe across the screen from side to side properly and that the washer cleans the screen correctly. Remember to top up the washer fluid too.


Check your seat-belts making sure they clip in correctly and the lock comes on when you pull tightly on the belt. Make sure there are no signs of wear on the belt. Make sure if your rear seat has been down that you have clipped the seats back in properly and the belt locks are visible.


Make sure you check your tyre pressures before an MOT, the manufacturer’s guide is on the inside of the door frame (usually on the driver’s side). Check the tread of your tyres, the minimum tread is 1.6mm. You can use a 20p coin to check your tread, here are further instructions. Look over your tyres, you don’t want any cuts or bulges. Don’t forget to check the spare!

mechanic and women checking tyre


Check your exhaust hasn’t got any holes in it, or is leaking. Turn on the engine and listen to see if it sounds normal, if it is sounding louder than usual there’s a chance it could have a hole in it.


Check it locks up correctly (making sure you don’t have to pull it up too high with a lot of clicking). It should be able to hold the car completely still whilst on a hill.


Check it works correctly – It should be loud enough to attract the attention of pedestrians and/or other motorists. Musical horns are an instant fail.

Bodywork and bumpers

Check that there are no sharp edges or holes in the bodywork and bumpers. It also needs to be free from heavy corrosion and all the doors and boot should open and close securely.


Check there are no cracks and the glass is in good condition and clean. If you currently are holding the mirror in with tape or anything similar, you will need to have these replaced before the test.

Number Plates

Both your front and back plates need to be secured properly and not cracked, faded or hidden by dirt. Some people, especially those with private plates, often alter the positioning of the spaces and studs. For example; the standard layout is ‘AB17 CDE’ someone may choose to display this as ‘ABC17CD  E’. This is not acceptable, the letters and numbers should be standard and evenly spaced.