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  • Writer's pictureA1 Autocentre

Make sure your MOT passes first time!

A vehicle can fail an MOT for any number of reasons, a wide range of tests and checks are carried out across all areas of the vehicle and it only has to fail in one of these areas to not be given a pass certificate.

A few weeks before your MOT is due, it’s a good idea to make sure that your car is in the best possible condition by the time it is inspected.

A huge amount of MOT failures are areas that can easily be avoided by performing simple Pre-MOT checks at home, so by assessing these in advance you can deal with any issues and increase the chance of passing your MOT test.

What areas should I check?


A massive 17% of MOT tests fail on light issues. All your lights need to be in good working order. This includes your headlights, sidelights, indicators, brake lights and not forgetting your registration plate light.


Tyre issues are the biggest cause of all MOT failures so it’s very important to check these in advance of your test!

All your tyres should be properly inflated (the correct tyre pressure information will be in your vehicle handbook) and have at least 1.6mm of tread around the whole tyre.

A good way to check your tread depth is the 20p test. Any unusual wear could highlight a problem so bring your car down to A1 Autocentre for a FREE Tyre Check

Registration Plate

A heavily damaged number plate on the front or rear will cause your vehicle to fail its MOT and don’t forget the bulb!

Windscreen and Wipers

Any chip or crack in your windscreen that is larger than 40mm will result in a failed MOT.

On the drivers’ side, the allowance is even smaller; any damage larger than 10mm in the area covered by your driver-side wiper will result in a failure.

12% of MOT check failures are down to faulty windscreen wipers. Any wipers that smear the screen or have visible tears and damage will cause your vehicle to fail its MOT check. You can even fail your MOT for having no screen wash so make sure that the bottle is topped up!

Fuel and Engine Oil

It is important for your car to have adequate fuel and oil levels to carry out the required emission tests.

You can check your oil levels by doing the following:

  • Make sure your car is parked on a level surface and wait for the engine to cool down.

  • Locate your dipstick, which should be on top of your oil tank. Typically, your dipstick is a bright yellow ring.

  • Pull your dipstick all the way out and wipe it off with a rag or cloth.

  • Insert the dipstick all the way in and pull it out.


Your mirrors must be secure and free of any cracks. Make sure any damaged mirrors are replaced before your test.

Interior Checks

  • Make sure all your seatbelts are of the correct length and in working order. If you pull sharply on each seatbelt they should react by locking.

  • Your car horn will be tested during your inspection, It must be able to be heard by another road user. Give it a test before your MOT!

Finally, the warning lights on your dashboard will be included in your test so it is crucial to make sure that they all light up when you start the car and disappear before driving. If any of the warning lights remain lit, then you should book a Diagnostic Test to determine what the issue is.

When should I book my MOT test and how far in advance can I do it?

An MOT can be carried out up to one month, minus a day, prior to the expiry date of your existing MOT certificate, whilst still preserving the anniversary of the expiry date.

If you have your test carried out a month before the due date, your MOT is effectively valid for 13 months.

You don't need to book an MOT at A1 Autocentre, we do not accept bookings for MOTs as we operate a 'while you wait' service. If you require only an MOT please come along at a time that suits you between 8am - 4:30pm Monday to Friday and 8am - 1:15pm Saturdays.

If however you wish to book a Service or repair with your MOT 'Click Here' to be directed to our Online booking page



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