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Your MOT test date is creeping up, and you’re probably wondering what you need to do to get your car ready. The last thing you want is for it to fail, especially if the failure could have been avoided by a few simple pre-MOT checks.
Although don’t worry, our experts are here to help.
In this article, we’ve put together some handy info on how to get your car prepped and the main things you need to be aware of.
By law, vehicles that are over three years old have to undergo an annual MOT (Ministry of Transport) test. The purpose of the test is to make sure the vehicle is roadworthy. Importantly, if the vehicle fails, it will have to undergo the necessary repairs to bring it up to the required standards.
A car must pass its MOT test, otherwise, it’s deemed illegal to drive it on the road. The test also must be arranged and carried out at an authorised testing centre. Unfortunately, the consequences of driving a car without a valid MOT have become much harsher over the past few years. Now, as soon as your car fails an MOT it’s considered ‘dangerous’.
Moreover, if caught driving it, you could be fined as much as £2,500 and three points on your driving licence. Plus, insurance also won’t be valid in most cases where an MOT isn’t valid.
When is my first MOT due and what to take
If you’ve got a fairly new car, check the date that the car was first registered – the first MOT is due three years after that date.
For example, if the car was first registered on 1 August 2019, the first MOT is due no later than 1 August 2022.
Finally, don’t forget to take your V5C (logbook) with you to the test centre.
How do I prepare my car for an MOT test?
Here are some important tips:
- Check the horn is working.
- Check the condition of the windscreen washers and wipers. Top up the screen wash. If you need to replace any of the wipers, you can buy these easily and cheaply from motor shops. They’re easy to fit, but many shops offer low-cost fitting too.
- Top up the oil levels.
- Make sure all of the seat belts are working and they’re not cut or frayed.
- Ensure all bulbs are working, including headlights, brake lights, number plate lights, indicators and fog lights. Check each of the lights for any damage.
- Check the tyres for cuts, bulges or objects. Make sure the tread depth is a minimum of 1.6mm. If any of the tyres have a tread less than this, they will need to be replaced. If your car has a spare tyre, check the condition of this too.
- Check the fluid level in the brake system is at the correct level. If you’re not sure, refer to the car’s manual or handbook.
- Check the windscreen and mirrors for cracks and chips.
- Make sure the exhaust is secure and has no corrosion.
- If there is a warning light on the dashboard, check the manual to find out if this is something you are able to resolve quickly yourself.
- Make sure the number plates are free from dirt – they’ll need to be readable for the test.
- While it might seem obvious, make sure your car is reasonably clean and not full of clutter.
Latest News on MOT Due Dates 2020 - MOT extension due to COVID19
When is my car MOT due?
You can check your MOT status, MOT due date and MOT history free with Car Guide, all you need is your registration number. Moreover, if you are wondering which components are likely to fail or which might get an advisory on your next MOT, check out the data for free today.
Frequently asked questions
You can drive your car legally until the midnight on the day when your MOT expires.