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Pre MOT Test Checks

According to the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) 40% of vehicles fail their MOT test first time round and over half of these are due to small faults which could be addressed before taking the vehicle to the test*.

Avoid this happening to you by undertaking the following checks before your next MOT test.

Do all your lights work?

A broken light can be all it takes for your vehicle to fail its MOT test and as these are one of the easiest vehicle components to repair, it is definitely worth your while to check them first!

Simply turn on your vehicle and test that the headlights, fog lights, indicators and hazard warning lights all work when turned on. You can also check your brake lights by parking behind a reflective surface and pressing the brake pedal. Alternatively, you could ask someone to stand behind your vehicle to check that all the lights work.

If you find any broken bulbs you can use your vehicle handbook to find the correct light bulb for your vehicle and fit it yourself or get it fitted at your local Dexel branch.

Pre MOT test checks

Is your view of the road obstructed?

When driving can you easily see the road from your vehicle through your windscreen and mirrors? If not, an MOT tester will deem your car unsafe for the road!

If your windscreen is damaged you will need to have it replaced or repaired before the test. Any windscreen damage larger than 10mm in the area directly in front of the driver (‘Zone A’) or 40mm elsewhere (‘Zone B’), will cause an MOT fail. Take a look at the image above for further guidance.

Whilst checking the windscreen, you should ensure that your wipers are not damaged and your screen wash is topped up.

Your mirrors must also offer an unobstructed view of the road, so if they are broken book them in to be fixed ahead of your MOT test.

Are your tyres safe?

Before the test, check the condition of your tyres as well as their pressures and tread depth. You will need to inspect the inner and outer sidewall for damage such as cracks, lumps, cuts or bulges. If you do come across such damages, you will need to have them inspected by a tyre specialist as soon as possible as these could be highly dangerous.

It is also important that your tyres have sufficient levels of tread, meeting the legal minimum of 1.6mm and they are inflated to their correct tyre pressures.

Can your brakes bring you to a stop?

Your brakes are one of the most important components of your vehicle, so if they are unable to bring you to a safe stop your vehicle will fail the MOT test. Fortunately, your brakes will alert you if there is a problem and the most common signs that your brakes need attention include:

  • Squealing or grinding noises when braking
  • The vehicle pulls to one side when brakes are applied
  • Brakes juddering when you press the brake pedal
  • Rear wheels locking when braking

If you have noticed any of these symptoms, not only will you fail your MOT, every journey is putting you at risk. Ensure that you have them checked immediately.

Do your seatbelts hold you in place?

Finally, you should test that your seatbelts are in good condition and work effectively. You can do this easily by visually inspecting the entire length of each belt for damage and tugging on each one sharply to check that they react as expected.

Are all fluids topped up?

Check that your engine oil, screen wash and anti-freeze meet recommended levels and if they do not, top them up with care before the MOT test.


Book your next MOT online at one of our DVSA approved MOT testing centres now.