How to pass an MOT test

Wednesday 10th February 2021

booking mot and service together

Is your vehicle due its annual MOT test? Ensure your car has the best chance of passing with our top tips on how to pass an MOT.

8 things to check before your car’s MOT

1. Tyres

One of the most common reasons for a vehicle to fail its MOT is due to incorrect tyres. There are multiple checks you can conduct on your tyres before an MOT test:

  • Tread depth – ensure your tyre tread depth is above the legal minimum requirement (1.6mm). Learn more about how to check tyre tread depth.
  • Tyre pressure – if your tyres are not inflated to the legal recommended level, this can affect your MOT result – so ensure your tyre pressure is correct.
  • Spare tyre – don’t forget to check your spare tyre, too!

2. Lights

There are obligatory lights which need to be working correctly in order for your vehicle to pass its test. Check your front lights and rear-position lamps, ensuring that they’re working effectively in their positions, they’re not obstructed and in good condition.

3. Oil

Does your vehicle have enough oil? Without enough oil, the garage will not be able to test emission levels. Take a look under the bonnet, locate the dipstick and wipe off any excess oil to ensure you’re beginning with a clean dipstick. Dip the dipstick back in and remove – and you’ll be able to see the oil line, hopefully between ‘min’ and ‘max’. If not, it’s time to top up your oil – find out what oil your vehicle needs now.

4. Car dashboard lights

Have any warning lights appeared on your dashboard? If so, it’s important to get these checked and the fault identified prior to your MOT test. If not, this will be picked up in your MOT test and will result in a fail, so it’s best to sort this out beforehand.

5. Mirrors

For a vehicle to pass its MOT test, it must have obligatory mirrors intact – one interior and one offside mirror. These must be not be cracked, or severely impairing your view. There are three acceptable rear-view mirror positions according to the MOT manual:

  • An exterior mirror or device that provides a view along the offside of the vehicle.
  • An exterior mirror or device that provides a view along the nearside of the vehicle.
  • An interior mirror or a device which provides a view to the rear of the vehicle.

6. Windscreen wipers

Do your wiper blades need replacing? If your wipers are smearing, squeaking, screeching or skipping, it’s likely that they’re in need of replacing – which is something you can do before your MOT test. It’s also important to check the windscreen itself for any chips, cracks or marks which impair visibility – as this likely to incur a fail on the MOT test.

7. Brakes

Brakes are another common cause for MOT failure – so before your MOT test, check that your brakes (both footbrakes and handbrake) are working effectively. Learn how to tell if your brakes need replacing before your MOT test.

8. Test the horn

One of the easiest checks to make before your MOT test, checking that the horn works. If it doesn’t work, ensuring the fault is fixed before your MOT test can save you failing.

Feel prepared for your MOT test after our ‘how to pass’ checklist? Book in your MOT test today at your nearest Formula One Autocentre.

Price Promise

We simply WON’T be beaten on price! Check out our Price Promise

We simply WON’T be beaten on price!

Check out our Price Promise

Family Owned

Formula One Autocentres are a family owned company providing value, care and service locally for over 50 years

What people are saying about us...

  • Friendly staff, clean workshop and waiting area, Covid aware, with good social distancing measures in place.

    - trevor, Fareham - Sep 11, 2020
  • Special thanks to the guy who answered the phone on the morning of Friday 16th Oct. My vehicle (V939HBK) developed a fault on the morning of the MOT test (that day) so I could not present it. He cancelled the appointment and offered a later date. I managed to fix the problem later on the 16th, rang him back, and he was able to offer me a test on the next day (Sat 17th) saving me loads of grief. Excellent service from him and your company and at a good price. Thanks.

    - Peter, Reading - Oct 18, 2020
  • Lewis was very helpful, would definitely use the reading branch again for any issues I have with my car

    - Natasha, Reading - Oct 19, 2020
and there’s more >>

Service you can trust

4.5 Stars on Trust Pilot
Motor Industry Code of Practice