Top 7 Tips to Help Pass Your Car’s MOT Test

Top 7 Tips to Help Pass Your Car’s MOT Test

Cars that are over three years old must undergo an annual MOT test. The MOT tests are conducted to ensure that vehicles are roadworthy, comply to emissions standards, and don’t pose any safety risks. Drivers typically must pay a fee for a MOT test plus any money required to pay for any repairs necessary for the car to pass the test. The driver can avoid having to go through the inconvenience and cost of repeating a failed MOT with some basic car maintenance that is checked during the MOT test.

The maximum price a MOT centre or garage can charge for a MOT test is £54.85. This maximum price is set by law. By completing these simple car maintenance tasks and addressing any issues, the driver can help the car pass the MOT test on the first try. By fixing any problems that could cause the car to fail the MOT test, the driver can save money by reducing the cost of repairs needed to pass the MOT. Here are the top 7 tips to help pass your car’s MOT test.

1. Carefully check the windscreen for any chips or cracks. A small chip doesn’t necessarily mean the car will fail the MOT test. Damage that is 40mm or less is allowed in areas not in front of the driver or within the reach of the wipers.(1) In front of the driver and within wiper range, damage cannot be larger than 10mm.

Wiper blades must be in good condition and work effectively. You can easily test this by using the washer and making sure the wipers clear the washer fluid normally. If the washer or wipers are not working properly, you would need to correct that for the vehicle to pass the test. Wiper blades are very easy to replace. Also, fill the screen wash reservoir.

2. The car’s lights are very easy to check and replace if necessary. For the MOT, all external lights must be clean and working. So, take a few minutes to check the headlamps, sidelamps, indicators, and hazard lights. Don’t forget to check the lights at the number plate. If any lightbulbs need to be replaced, they are commonly sold at car parts stores.

3. Check your tyres for signs of damage and excessive wear. The MOT test requires tyres to have at least 1.6mm of tread across the middle three-quarters. If a vehicle has less tread on its tyres, it automatically fails the MOT. You can avoid this by checking your tyres and replacing them before the MOT if they are worn or have visible damage like cracks or punctures.

4. Test the horn to make sure it works.(2) You may not be able to fix a nonfunctioning horn yourself, but you can take it to be repaired before the MOT to avoid a failed test.

5. Number plates need to be clean and easy to read from a distance. Modified plates or plates with incorrect lettering style or spacing would cause the car to fail.

6. Check all the seatbelts to ensure they are not cut, frayed, or otherwise damaged. Drivers can replace any damaged seatbelts before the MOT.(3)

7. Spark plugs can be replaced before the MOT test if you feel they may be faulty. If the car is not idling smoothly, has trouble accelerating, or is using more fuel than usual, the spark plugs may be to blame.(4) Many drivers change spark plugs themselves. If you feel uncomfortable taking on this task yourself, you can have the technicians at Nathaniel Car Sales Ltd check your spark plugs and replace them if needed.

While these do-it-yourself checks can help you avoid failing the MOT for small, easy repairs and maintenance, they will not help if the car needs a major repair. This bit of preparation can save a lot of time, cost, and aggravation. It’s best not to wait until the last minute to schedule your MOT. You wouldn’t want to risk delaying the MOT because the last available openings did not fit into your schedule.

Nathaniel Car Sales Ltd gives customers who buy a new car a free MOT for that car for the entire time they own it. If you didn’t get your car at Nathaniel Cars, you can still get a MOT from our experienced technicians for a very low price.

After you get a MOT, you may want to keep your certificate as a reminder of when your next MOT will be due. If you are unsure about when you will need your next MOT, you can find out by visiting this vehicle MOT status check.


1 “MOT Test: Top Tips To Help Your Car Pass First Time”. Auto Express. N. p., 2016. Web. 3 Dec. 2016.

2 “Top 10 Tips For Getting Through An Mot”. N. p., 2016. Web. 3 Dec. 2016.

3 “How To Ensure You Pass Your MOT Check”. N. p., 2016. Web. 3 Dec. 2016.

4 “When To Change Spark Plugs (6 Tell Tale Signs)”. Motoring About. N. p., 2013. Web. 3 Dec. 2016.