Pre MOT Checks

April 12, 2013 By Mike Lee
Last updated on July 27, 2015

It’s that time again, your car’s due it’s MOT. A pre MOT check is well worth the time it takes to carry out, even if you’re not mechanically minded. There’s nothing worse than your car failing it’s MOT on something minor that takes 5 minutes to fix and then having to have a re-test. As a side note, all pre 1960’s cars are no longer required to go for MOT.

MOT Sign

Some of the checks listed below may not apply to some cars registered before 1986 and 1980 and indeed other dates (check with the MOT Station).

Some Easy Pre MOT Checks That Anyone Can Do

  • Check the windscreen for cracks, chips and deep scratches
  • Check the wiper blade condition and washer operation
  • Seat belt condition of buckles and webbing. note: your seat belt may work on inertia – seek advice if needed
  • Tyre condition and tread depth (1.6mm minimum over three quarters of the bredth of tyre, all the the way round the circumference)
  • Wheels – are there any cracks, big chunks out of it or is it buckled. Any missing wheels nuts?
  • Rust/corrosion on body or underneath the car, any holes
  • Any loose bumpers and other trim
  • Check light bulbs (driving, main, side lights, brake lights, indicators, reversing light, fog lights (if fitted), 4/6 way hazard lights, rear number plate lights)
  • Make sure the rear reflectors are showing
  • Check light lenses aren’t broken
  • Ensure the horn operates, check tone and loudness
  • Check exterior mirrors are ok
  • Are number plates secure and showing correctly
  • Do doors open and close easily from inside and outside the car
  • Handbrake – Pull the handbrake up, if it slack or pulls up too high the cable may need adjusting/replacing
  • Check brake pedal travel, is it spongy? (check fluid)
  • Brake pedal rubber ok
  • Does the fuel cap seals and lock ok
  • Check steering wheel condition – is it secure and without play
  • Check the Exhaust isn’t hanging off or blowing
  • Suspension – Do the shocks bounce if you push the car down on one corner? If it returns without bouncing more than once or twice, it is probably ok
  • Make sure your car is reasonably clean

Illegal Tyre Tyre Tread Depth

Cracked Windscreen Car Rust Rot

Here is a check-list from an old MOT test Sheet
There are now over 150 checks carried out during an MOT.
Note: that the results of your MOT are now held on computer by VOSA, this is to provide increased security against fraud.

Items Tested

Lighting Equipment
Front & rear lamps etc
Stop lamps
Rear reflectors
Direction indicators & hazard lamps
Headlamp aim

Steering and Suspension
Steering control
Steering mechanism/system
Power steering
Front suspension
Rear Suspension
Transmission shafts
Wheel bearings
Shock absorbers
Wheel alignment

ABS warning system/controls
Condition of service brake system
Condition of parking brake system
Service brake performance
Parking brake performance
Additional brakng devices

Tyres and Wheels
Tyre size/type
Tyre load/speed rating
Tyre condition


Drivers view of the road
Exhaust system
Exhaust emissions
General vehicle condition
Fuel system
Registration plates and VIN numbers
Speed limiter
Driving controls

PAS Reservoir

Why not take a look at the general maintenance article to help with your pre MOT checks as well.