What is an MOT test?

MOT test is an inspection carried out on all vehicles at least once a year and required by the UK government. MOT tests are carried out by MOT Stations (such as this one) and upon passing this inspection, the vehicle is issued an MOT Certificate. The certificate is valid for 12 months. Without a valid MOT certificate, you cannot tax your vehicle nor can you insure it – which are both required by law before you can drive the vehicle on UK roads. Additionally, insurance may also be voided in the event of an accident and you may be left with a big bill. Sign up for free MOT reminders by clicking the link above and never miss your MOT again.

Common MOT failures

Some of the most common failures can be prevented by doing some basic checks yourself before your MOT test. Here are some checks you can perform:

Not all of these lights will fail an MOT test as different rules apply to different aged vehicles. However, we recommend that you check to ensure all the bulbs work:

  • Daylight running lights
  • All side lights
  • Headlights
  • Full/main beam
  • Reverse lights
  • Indicators (make sure they’re still orange and not discoloured)
  • Brake lights (centre brake light is not a failure)
  • Fog lamp (centre or driver side rear required at minimum)
  • Registration plate bulbs

We advise that you DO NOT change bulbs yourself as there are risks of short circuits and fire through improper fitment. Come see us for bulb changes on a while-you-wait basis, we’ll change them on the spot.
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Tyres are the only thing holding your vehicle on the road. We see countless tyres during MOT tests that are borderline dangerous and beyond. The legal limit for tyres:

  • Centre 3/4 quarter of the tyre must be 1.6 mm tread or above
  • No cuts which expose cords
  • Tyre free from bulges and lumps
  • Must not be uneven
  • Correct fitment (directional tyres and inside/outside markings on the sidewall of the tyre)
  • Same size tyres fitted on the same axle

You should also inspect road wheels for damage. Commonly, wheels are damaged by potholes and kerbs which crack or bend the wheel as well as prevent the tyre sitting properly on the wheel.

If you are unsure about this check, come in for a free check-up on a while-you-wait basis. We provide expert advice on the spot whether your tyres are safe and whether they will pass the MOT.
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Our MOT test involves extensive suspension and brake testing. These checks are crucial for your safety, your passengers’, other road users & pedestrians.

Tell-tell signs to look out for:

  • Knocking noises
  • Grinding noises
  • Humming noise (usually gets louder the faster you go)
  • Vehicle bounces too much or rolls around corners
  • Poor handling
  • Poor stopping
  • Brake pedal ‘feel’ irregular (spongy, excessive travel or too hard)

Any of these signs will most likely be a suspension or brake component MOT failure.

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