What's in an MOT Test?

Ever wondered what's actually tested when you put your car in for an MOT? Here's the list they use.

  1. Vehicle identification number - a vehicle identification number must be permanently displayed and legible on a vehicle first used on or after 1 August 1980
  2. Registration plate - condition, security, legibility and format of letters/numbers
  3. Lights - condition, operation, security and correct colour. The headlamps will also be checked to see if the aim is correct
  4. Steering and suspension - correct condition and operation
  5. Wipers and washers - operate to give the driver a clear view of the road
  6. Windscreen - condition and drivers view of the road
  7. Horn - correct operation and type
  8. Seatbelts - all seatbelts installed are checked for type, condition, operation and security. All compulsory seatbelts must be in place
  9. Seats - front seats secure. Front and rear backseats can be secured in the upright position
  10. Fuel system - no leaks, fuel cap fastens correctly and seals securely. The fuel cap will need to be opened. Make sure the key is available
  11. Exhaust emissions - vehicle meets the requirement for exhaust emission. These vary on the age and fuel type of the vehicle
  12. Exhaust system - complete, secure, without serious leaks and silences effectively
  13. Vehicle structure - free from excessive corrosion or damage in specific areas. No sharp edges
  14. Doors - open and close. Latch securely in closed position. Front doors should open from inside and outside the vehicle. Rear doors may need to be opened to gain access to testable items
  15. Mirrors - presence, condition and security
  16. Wheels and tyres - condition, security, tyre size and type, and tread depth. Spare tyres are not tested
  17. Brakes - condition, operation and performance (efficiency test). Suitable vehicles will be tested on a roller brake tester. Vehicles such as those with permanent four-wheel drive will be tested either on a suitable road using a properly calibrated and maintained decelerometer or, if one is installed at the test station, a plate brake tester.
Related Information
Need to get your car tested? See our list of UK MOT Testing Centres:

MOT Test Centres

Don't think your car will pass? Check our listing of Garage Mechanics:

Garage Mechanics


The above auto checklists have been thoroughly researched to be as accurate as possible however, they are intended only as a helpful guide, and Auto Insider will not be held responsible for inaccuracies relating to their content.

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