The MOT is a statutory check carried out and administered throughout the United Kingdom by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), a collaboration of the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) and the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA). The DOT, which helps with the application of the MOT test and other related regulations, supervises these agencies.
What is the need to do MOT testing?
If your vehicle is over three years old, having an annual MOT check is a legal requirement to ensure your own safety as well as the safety of others on the road. The evaluations usually involve stringent rules, and it is necessary to protect certain key elements of the vehicle.
An MOT can cost you a maximum of £54.85 and helps to uncover potential problems that could impact your car’s health. Failure in the MOT testing not only makes it illegal to drive your vehicle, but it also makes your insurance invalid. Flaws identified through MOT testing are now marked as either “dangerous,” “major” or “minor” by the MOT tester and “dangerous” or “major” defects will result in failing the MOT test. Often, the MOT tester will provide advisory notes about issues you must monitor for your car that might become more dangerous in the future.
Should your car fail the MOT test, you will be given another MOT check for free provided your car does not leave the MOT test center and you can ask for the necessary repairs to be made at the center itself. It would help if you refrained from driving the car until repairs are made for faults identified as “dangerous,” while “major” faults require immediate repair at either the same or a different center.
What should you do to get your car ready for an MOT test?
First of all, look for a local MOT test center. For example, if you’re living in the cathedral city Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England, then you should get your car MOT tested with a local center, like Ossett Tyre House.
Your next step would be preparing your car to pass its MOT test. This will ensure you don’t have to pay for repairs later or, worse, have to pay for another MOT test to be conducted.
Here are some quick exterior, interior, and mechanical checks to do before the MOT test:
- The minimum legal diameter of the tire is 1.6 mm, so test the small elevated sections at groove bottoms and if they are weak or flat, pick up new tires.
- It’s often difficult to notice when bulbs stop working, so ensuring your sidelights, headlights, indicators, and bulbs on the registration plate are working is crucial as this is one of the most common reasons cars fail MOT tests. Replacing lights that don’t work will help to tackle this problem.
- Ensure that your brake pipe has no noticeable leaks and check the working of your car’s warning light if you have an ABS brake system. Also, ensure that keying your car turns on all the dashboard lights.
- If your windscreen cracks are larger than a diameter of 1 cm, you may need to repair or replace them. Checking to make sure your wipers are in good condition and refreshing your screenwash while doing so is also necessary.
- Fixing a loose or noisy exhaust pipe, and ensuring seatbelts and doors are functioning properly is also important. Check to ensure your car’s horn is easy to access from the driver’s position and is audible, and also make sure seats are anchored safely.
- Clean, legible (from 20 meters away), and legal registration plates are a must, and ensuring proper state of mirrors, including rear-view and wing mirrors, will not only ensure visual clarity in what’s happening around you, but it will also fetch your car an approval on its MOT test.
- Maintaining your car’s bodywork is another important point to prepare for your MOT test as rusty panels, and bodywork gaps can cost your car its approval statement on the MOT certificate.
- Checking that your car’s suspension works, its exhaust emissions are within legal limits, and the fuel system functions properly are crucial to preparing for an MOT test.
Cover photo credit: EthelRedThePetrolHead / Flickr