Lamps, Reflectors and Electrical Equipment

Your vehicle's front, rear, brake, fog, indicator and registration plate lights and rear reflectors must:

  • Be correctly positioned
  • Secure
  • Not be obscured
  • Be in good condition
  • Show the correct colour (a bluish tinge to front headlights is acceptable as long as the predominant colour is white)
  • Not be adversely affected by the operation of any other light
  • Illuminate with a single operation of the switch

Pairs of lights must emit light of the same colour, size and shape and headlight aim (both dip beam and main beam) should be below the horizontal, so as not to dazzle other drivers.

Horn The horn must emit a continuous uniform note and must be loud enough to be heard by another road user.

Battery The battery must be secure and not show any signs of leaking electrolytes.

Electrical wiring Wiring should be secure and must not be damaged to the point where it is likely to short circuit or become detached.

Towbars Any electrical socket must be in a good condition and correctly operate the trailer parking lights, brake lights, indicators and rear fog lights.

Steering and Suspension

SteeringYour steering wheel must be secure and in a good condition. Our expert technician will check this by pushing the wheel in various directions and inspecting the steering components for wear or damage.

If your steering has a locking device, it should only lock when the engine isn't running.

Vehicles with power steering must have at least the minimum level of power steering fluid in the reservoir.

SuspensionSuspension components and shock absorbers will be checked for excessive corrosion, distortion and fractures.


Your brakes, pedals and levers should be in good condition and any relevant warning lights must work. Our expert technician will also carry out a brake performance test to check brake efficiency.


Your tyres must be of an appropriate speed and load rating for your vehicle and tread depth needs to be at least 1.6mm. Our expert technician will check for cuts in excess of 25mm, lumps, bulges, tears, exposure of the cord and tread separation.

For vehicles with run-flat tyres, the warning light must operate correctly.

Road wheels must be in good general condition, and all wheel nuts should be in place and tightly secured.

Seat Belts

All your seat belts (including the attachment and adjustment fittings) need to be the correct length and in good working order.

Body work, Structure and Other Elements

Body workA general inspection of the body, chassis, engine mountings, seats, bonnet, boot and doors will be checked making sure all components are free from excessive corrosion with no sharp edges that might cause injury.

Registration platesThese must be secure and clearly legible to someone standing 20 metres away from the car and fitted to the front and rear of the vehicle, all characters must be correctly formed and spaced so they are not misread.

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)Every vehicle must permanently display a legible VIN, either on a VIN plate secured to the vehicle, or stamped or etched on the body or chassis.

SpeedometerA speedometer must be fitted, and our expert technician will check that it can be illuminated. It doesn’t matter if the dial glass is cracked as long as the speed can be read.

Exhaust, Fuel and Emissions

Exhaust systemYour exhaust system should be secure and free of leaks. If your vehicle was originally fitted with a catalytic converter, it must still be present.

EmissionsYour vehicle's carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions must fall within the legal limit. Our expert technicians will use a gas analyser probe while the engine is running to test the smoke emitted from the exhaust. They'll also visually check for excessive smoke of any colour being emitted from the exhaust, which could result in an MOT failure.

Your vehicle will need sufficient engine oil and fuel levels in order for the technician to carry out their emission checks.

Driver's View of the Road

MirrorsRear view mirrors and wing mirrors must be secure and provide adequate views to the rear and side of the vehicle.

Windscreen and WipersIn the area of the windscreen directly in front of the driver, there must not be any damage or obstruction to the view larger than 10mm. Outside this area (but within the swept area), there must not be any damage or other obstruction larger than 40mm. Wipers and washers must sweep a wide enough area to give the driver an adequate view of the road.