The M.O.T. Test

/The M.O.T. Test
The M.O.T. Test 2017-08-09T19:31:09+00:00

A brief guide to the M.O.T. Test

The VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) MOT test is designed to ensure that all vehicles driven on the roads meet the minimum safety and environmental standards required by law at the time of testing. It is a legal requirement for any vehicle over three years old that is to be used on British roads to pass an annual MOT test.
MOT test centre in Barnet

Key points to remember:

  • An MOT pass means that at the time of testing the vehicle met the minimum safety and environmental requirements.
  • An MOT Test “pass” does not mean that the vehicle is roadworthy for the length of time that the certificate is valid.
  • The MOT Certificate does not guarantee the mechanical integrity of the vehicle.
  • If your vehicle does not have a valid MOT certificate then your insurance is invalidated.
  • All vehicles over 3 years old must have a valid MOT certificate to be considered roadworthy in the eyes of the law.
  • New technology means that police and government agencies can check if you have an MOT certificate at the click of a button.
  • VOSA Authorised Testing Facility

As an official VOSA Approved Test Facility our MOT centre in Barnet is authorised to provide MOT testing for vehicles of class 1,2 and 4. Essentially that means that we are authorised to perform an MOT check on cars and motorcycles.

During the MOT test one of our VOSA approved MOT testers will conduct a comprehensive MOT inspection and a series of checks to your vehicle both internally and externally, under the bonnet and underneath the vehicle.

The MOT Test

The MOT criteria which must be checked and approved during the MOT test proceedure are as follows:

  • Body or vehicle structure and general items

    Free from excessive corrosion or damage in specific areas. No sharp edges likely to cause injury.

  • Towbars

    Check for security, condition, inappropriate repairs or modification. Correct operation of 13 pin electrical socket. Speedometer condition and operation. Engine mountings.

  • Fuel System

    The fuel system will be inspected to check that there are no leaks, the security and condition of pipes or hoses and the fuel cap fastens and seals securely. Note the fuel cap will need to be opened. Make sure the key is available.

  • Seat Belts

    The vehicle will be inspected to check that:

    • the mandatory seatbelts are in place
    • they are suitable for the vehicle
    • they are in a good condition
    • they work properly
    • they are attached securely

    The malfunction indicator lamps (MILs) or dashboard warning lights will be checked for the:

    • air bags
    • seatbelt pretensioners (which remove the slack from a seatbelt in the event of a collision)
    • seatbelt load limiters (which release a small amount of belt when it’s too tight)
  • Seats

    These will be inspected to check that:

    • the driver’s seat can be adjusted
    • all seats are securely fitted and that seat backs can be fixed in the upright position
  • Tyres & Wheels

    These will be inspected to check for; condition, security, tyre size and type, and tread depth. Spare wheels and tyres are not inspected. Note: vehicles first used on or after 1 January 2012 – check of the MIL for tyre pressure monitoring.

  • Registration Plates

    These will be inspected to check their condition, secure attachment, colour, and that the characters correctly formed and spaced.

  • Lights

    These will be inspected to check their condition, operation including high intensity discharge (HID) and LED, the  headlamps for cleaning, self levelling and security. Headlamp aim. Main beam warning light.

  • Bonnet

    This will be inspected to check that it closes securely.

  • Wipers & Washers

    These will be inspected to check that they work properly so the driver has a clear view of the road.

  • Windscreen

    The windscreen will be inspected to check for condition and the driver’s view of the road.

  • Horn

    This will be inspected to check that it works properly and it is suitable for the vehicle.

  • Steering & Suspension

    These will be inspected to check their condition, steering oil level, operation, a check for inappropriate repairs or modification including corrosion to power steering pipes or hoses. Operation of steering lock mechanism. The MILs or dashboard warning lights will also be checked for the electronic power steering and steering lock.

  • Exhaust Emissions

    The vehicle will be inspected, depending on the age and fuel type of the vehicle, to check that it meets the rules for exhaust emissions.

    Diesel vehicles

    The MOT tester will refuse to test your vehicle if they think that the smoke test may damage your engine.

    You should tell them at the start of the MOT if you think this may happen.

    To reduce the possibility of damage and increase the chances of passing, you should:

    • keep your vehicle maintained at all times
    • have the camshaft drive belt replaced at the recommended intervals
    • go for the MOT with a fully warmed up engine – it will produce less smoke and is safer to test
    • not tamper with the governor settings
  • Exhaust System

    The exhaust system will be inspected to check that:

    • it’s secure and complete
    • a catalyst isn’t missing where one was fitted as standard
    • it’s without serious leaks and not too noisy
  • Doors

    These will be inspected to check that: the latch is secure in the closed position, front and rear doors open from inside and outside the vehicle and hinges and catches for security and condition.

  • Mirrors

    The vehicle will be inspected to check for the minimum number of mirrors, their condition and security. Indirect vision devices will also inspected.

  • Load Security

    The vehicle will be inspected to check that the boot or tailgate can be closed properly.

  • Brakes

    These will be inspected to check:

    • their condition, including inappropriate repairs or modifications
    • their operation and performance (the efficiency test) – the wheels and trims aren’t removed as part of the test
    • the anti-lock braking system (ABS) and electronic stability control (ESC) (where fitted)

    The MILs or dashboard warning lights will also be checked for the ABSESC, electronic park brake and brake fluid warning lights.

  • Tyres & Wheels

    These will be inspected to check for; condition, security, tyre size and type, and tread depth. Spare wheels and tyres are not inspected. Note: vehicles first used on or after 1 January 2012 – check of the MIL for tyre pressure monitoring.

  • The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

    The VIN will be on vehicles first used on or after 1 August 1980. Your car will be inspected to check that a single VIN is displayed, except on multistage build vehicles (eg van conversion, BMW, Alpina etc).

  • Electrical

    Visible electrical wiring and the battery will be checked.

This information was taken from the Gov.uk website and where (published on 21st May 2015). Whilst it is our responsibility to test according to the current requirements, it is the registered owner and/or driver of the vehicle’s responsibility to check that the vehicle adheres to the minimum legal requirements for keeping the vehicle on the road.