What's checked in an MOT?

30 August 2017 / Lindleys Autocentres

The role of the MOT is to ensure that each vehicle on the UK's roads is fit to be on the road and safe to be driven. The test checks various areas and features of a vehicle to ensure that they're working correctly. Here we take a look at the areas covered by an MOT, so that you can be aware of what will be checked, and if you need to do any repair work before booking an MOT.


All front, brake, fog, rear, indicator and registration plate lights must:

  • Be correctly positioned and secure
  • Be in good condition
  • Show the correct colour
  • Not be Obscured
  • Illuminate with one switch
  • Not be adversely affected by the operation of any other light

Lights that are paired must be the same colour, size and shape. Headlights should be below horizontal to not dazzle other drivers.


Battery must be secure and can’t show any signs of leaking.

Electrical Wiring

Must be secure and not be damaged to the point where it might become detached or a short circuit.


Must be loud enough to be heard by other road users and must perform in a continuous note. 


Steering is checked for strength and the condition of the wheel. If your wheel has a locking device, this will also be tested. Power steering vehicles must have the minimum level of fluid in the reservoir.


Suspension will be checked for excessive corrosion, fractures or distortion.


The condition of the brakes is inspected, as well as any relevant warning lights. Brake efficiency will be tested out by a brake performance test.

Tyres and road wheels

Tread depth must not be below the minimum 1.6mm. Tyres will be examined for lumps, tears, bulges, exposure of the cord, cuts in excess of 25mm and tread separation. The tyre must be of an appropriate speed and loading rate and must be in good general condition. Warning lights must operate correctly.

Seat Belts 

They are checked for security and condition.


Must be fitted and must illuminate when checked, also must be readable

Vehicle Identification Number

Every vehicle must display a legible VIN.


A general inspection is made. All components must be free from excessive corrosion and mustn’t have any sharp edges which could cause injury.

Registration Plates

Must be fitted at both the front and the rear. Must be viewable from 20m away.

Exhaust System

It will be inspected to ensure it doesn’t leak and is secure. If a catalytic converter was originally fitted, it must still be present.


Whilst the engine is running a tester will use a gas analyser probe to test the smoke emitted from the exhaust. A cause for MOT failure is dense blue or black smoke.

Fuel System

Will be checked for leaks and the tank cap must seal properly. 

Mirrors and Wipers 

Rear view mirrors and wing mirrors must be secure and provide adequate views to the rear and side. Wipers and washers must sweep enough of an area to give the driver a good view of the road.


No damage or obstruction to the view larger than 10mm can be directly infront of the driver. The surrounding area within the swept area must not have any damage larger than 40mm.

Here at Lindleys Autocentres you can book your MOT at any of our four branches in Arnold, West Bridgford, Basford and Nottingham City Centre. Our MOT test in Nottingham is £25 with a free re-test.

Book your MOT online or call the branch you will be going to.


West Bridgford




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