How to pass your MOT

A guide and checklist to help your vehicle pass its MOT test

What is an MOT?

The MOT test was introduced back in 1960 by the Ministry of Transport to check that vehicles on our road meet safety standards, as set by the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency). Today cars also have to meet emissions standards.

When do I have to take my vehicle for its MOT test?

Once your vehicle is 3 years old, it will need to go for its MOT test and then again every year. You are welcome to take the car to be tested a month prior to its current MOT certificate expiring.

Oil service

MOT Checklist

Taking your car for an MOT test can be a daunting experience. In most cases, the reasons for failing are minor faults that can be fixed beforehand. There are a few quick and simple checks that our technicians recommend that you carry out before taking your vehicle for its MOT test to give your vehicle the best chances at passing, saving you time and money.

Here are a few checks we recommend you carry out on your vehicle before taking your car for its annual MOT test.

You can download a copy of this checklist to use here.

Oil level check


If you have to pull the lever a long way up (i.e. if it clicks too many times), the cable may need adjustment, so get this checked out if you think something might be wrong!

Brake Fluid

Check the brake fluid level. Press the brake pedal and make sure that it doesn’t feel spongy. If it does, there may be air in the hydraulic system and will need to be removed.

External Lights & Number plates

Check that all of your car’s external lights are working properly. Your number plates and all lights must be clean and undamaged, so give them a good scrub if necessary.

Wheels & Tyres

Check that all wheels and tyres are undamaged. Also check that all tyres are inflated to the correct pressure and that each tyre tread depth is at least 1.6mm - the legal minimum.

Seat belts

Inspect the full length of the seat belt for damage and tug sharply on all the seat belts to check that they react as they’re supposed to if you have to brake severely.

Windscreen & Windscreen Wipers

Check that there aren’t any cracks or chips in the windscreen within the driver’s field of view. Check your wipers are able to keep your windscreen clean – any tears or holes in the wiper rubber can be an MOT fail.


Top up the washer bottle before you take your vehicle for its MOT test if its low.


Give a short blast of the horn – if it doesn’t work, your dealer will need to repair or replace it.


Check that your wing mirror and rear view mirror are in good condition, and that you can adjust them if you need to. If they’re broken or cracked then be sure to replace the mirror glass or the entire mirror.

Fuel & Oil

Check that your vehicle has at least a quarter of a tank of fuel in it, and that the engine oil is at the correct level. If you’re unsure what kind of oil your vehicle needs, contact your local dealer for assistance.

Please note that this list is only a guide and does not guarantee that your vehicle will pass its MOT test.

If you do find any faults that you're unable to easily rectify yourself, it's advisable to notify your manufacturer main dealer in advance so they can complete the work required before the test is carried out. Identifying the work before an MOT test will allow the problems to be rectified, so the car will be far more likely to pass its MOT test first time around.

You can book your next MOT with us here.