MOTs can be costly and the majority of us dread the experience. But there are some things to check before taking your car in an MOT every year. Follow these simple tips and give your vehicle the best chance of passing with flying colours.





Things to check before an MOT – Interior
  • Check that the front seats are secure and that the seatbelts are all in working order. They shouldn’t be worn in any way
  • Take a look at your interior mirrors to check that they aren’t cracked
  • Use the horn to ensure it’s working
Car LightThings to check before an MOT – Lights
  • Ensure that all lights are working correctly, side lights, dipped beam, main beam, indicators, hazards, reversing and brake. If any of them aren’t working, buy a new bulb and fit it yourself before the big day
Things to check before an MOT – Brakes
  • Check that all brakes, including the handbrake, are working correctly. Try the handbrake on a decent incline to be sure
Things to check before an MOT – Suspension
  • This is slightly more difficult to test but you can carry out a quick check by gently applying your weight to the corners of the car and release. It’ll settle down quickly if it’s in good working order
Tyre MaintenanceThings to check before an MOT – Tyres
  • Check the tyre tread. The legal minimum is 1.6mm and that they are wearing evenly over the width of the tyre
  • Ensure there are no splits or tears in the tyre and that the general condition looks good
  • Check the tyre pressure. Refer to your handbook and also the pressures are often shown on a panel inside the drivers door, and you can top up at a petrol station.
Things to check before an MOT – Exhaust
  • Listen out for any odd noises and check that there’s nothing unusual coming out of the exhaust
Things to check before an MOT – Windscreen
  • Check for any cracks or chips (over 1cm) and ensure that the windscreen wipers are in good working order
Things to check before an MOT – FluidsWasher bottle Cars4girls
  • Top up fluids such as oil, windscreen washer and brake fluid (See our other guides for tips on these specifically)
Things to check before an MOT – Registration Plates
  • Make sure that they’re tightly fastened to the car and that they’re clearly legible from 20 meters away

Take a general walk around the car to ensure that the external mirrors are in good working order and that all doors are working correctly. You’re guaranteed to save yourself a few pounds if you can fix any problems before your MOT.

There are further more detailed guides on this checklist in our other top tip guides

  • Anna Vaccaro