The Revolution Driving Tuition Blog

Making sense of the MOT

Everyone who owns a car is responsible for keeping it in a road worthy condition, this is checked by a test called the MOT. You are required to take your car for its first MOT at 3 years old, then it is tested again every year for as long as you own the car. The MOT makes sure that the car meets legal minimum requirements at the time of the test. It is up to you to keep track of when your test is due, as no reminders are sent. However the DSA recently launched a service that sends you a text message when your test is due, but there is a charge for this.

What is checked?

  • The car body is checked for corrosion and damage.
  • The fuel system is checked for leaks, the fuel cap must open and close securely.
  • The exhaust emission level is checked to make sure it isn’t too high.
  • The exhaust pipe must be secure without any leaks.
  • Seat belts must be in good working order.
  • The seats must be secure.
  • The front doors must open from both inside and outside of the car.
  • All the mirrors must be present and in good condition.
  • The boot/tailgate must close fully.
  • The brakes must be in good condition and operate effectively.
  • The tyres must be the correct size and must have at least the minimum tread depth of 1.6mm.
  • The number plate must be the correct colour and have the characters correctly spaced.
  • All the lights must be working.
  • The bonnet must close fully
  • The wipers and windscreen washers must be working.
  • The windscreen must be in good condition.
  • The horn must work.
  • The steering and suspension must be in a good condition.
  • The vehicle identification number must be present (for cars used on or after 1/8/1980

How is the MOT carried out?

The MOT scheme is supervised by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA). There are many garages around the country that do MOT tests, you should make sure the garage you want to use is authorised to do the test. You should check that the MOT logo is displayed, this has 3 blue triangles on it. The test will be carried out by a tester who has been trained to do the job, these people are checked regularly for a good standard. You will get a result at the end of the test and a certificate if the car has passed, this is valid for 1 year.

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