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Pre-MOT Checklist

| In Motoring Advice

As soon as a car celebrates its 3rd birthday, it must pass a yearly Ministry of Transport test, or MOT for short. This test is to ensure your car is in a road-worthy condition and safe to be driven on public roads. 

Any repairs or issues that need rectifying will have to be done before the car can leave the MOT centre and could cost a lot of money. Here’s a run-through of what to check before MOT: 6 simply things to look for so you can do to avoid any unnecessary MOT charges.

1. Pre-MOT Tyres Check

Your tyres should be checked regularly to ensure they of the legal requirement. Tyres under the incorrect tread depth cannot offer the amount of grip a fresher tyre can and can be dangerous. 

Any tyre with under 1.6mm of tread will be deemed as an MOT failure and require immediate replacement, so make sure your tyres are top of the list on what to check before MOT.

2. Check The Lights

Simply ensuring all your headlights, brake lights and indicators are working correctly should save you money when it comes to MOT time. Although it's not a legal requirement for cars to be fitted with a third central brake light if your car has one include it on your pre-MOT checklist to ensure it’s working.

3. Windscreen Wipers Check

If the vehicle’s front windscreen wipers are torn or cracked and cannot effectively clear the windscreen, these will be deemed as an MOT failure. Replacing windscreen wipers are very easy and take a matter of minutes - don’t miss them when you’re going through what to check before MOT.

4. Check Screenwash Before MOT

It may seem minuscule but you need to check your screenwash before your vehicle’s MOT. Washer bottles must not be empty and the washer jets must be angled and pressured correctly in order to pass. 

5. Seats and Seatbelts

Next on the pre-MOT checklist: ensure all your vehicle’s seatbelts extend and retract as they should and are without any rips or tears.

6. Engine Oil Check

It’s essential to check your vehicle’s engine oil is at a sufficient level before an MOT test. We’d also strongly recommend that your car has a decent level of petrol or diesel in as the engine will be running during the MOT test.


If your car is starting to cost you more than expected to pass its MOT test, it may be time to upgrade. Start your search for your new, reliable car with Cargiant and our used car finance options.