Motorists Fear Annual MOT Ordeal

posted on Oct 19 2016 by Keith Langford

Motorists Fear Annual MOT Ordeal

Many motorists dread the day that their car is due for its MOT. They should, however, look upon the test as a useful opportunity to get their vehicle checked over by an expert and ensure that it is safe to drive on our roads.

Since 2004, the MOT has been all hi-tech with each of the 20,000 test stations being linked by computer to a central database containing vehicle information, previous test results and details of test examiners and testers. Far from being an event to dread, the MOT is the only official test that exists to ensure that the vehicles on our roads are safe and not endangering lives. It is also the only test that checks that a car's emissions are below permitted levels.

Vehicles can fail tests for the simplest of problems, so it is a good idea to check your car over before taking it for a test. Here are some useful tips:

  1. If your vehicle is not taxed then ensure that the testing centre has made a note of your registration number so, if challenged, they can verify that it is being tested. If you have unexpired days on your current certificate, then take it along to the test centre as these can be added to your next certificate.
  2. If your vehicle is three years old and it is its first test then take along the V5 document. The MOT certificate can be dated to expire one year after the vehicle's third birthday. Your car can be tested up to one month before its third birthday.
  3. Ensure the seats are locked and in the upright position.
  4. Make sure the seat belts are clearly visible and not frayed.
  5. Testers don't like cluttered boots, so make sure it is clear and doesn't hinder the tester. They may refuse to test the vehicle if the boot is full.
  6. Ensure that the underside of the car is not caked in mud and debris as this is another reason why the testers could refuse to examine the vehicle.
  7. Check that the lights are working, clean and undamaged.
  8. The depth of the tyre tread should be at least 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the breadth of the tread and around the entire circumference.
  9. Ensure that your number plates are not damaged, as a cracked one would mean certain failure. They should also be clean and easy to read.