MOT First-Time Pass Guide

Although it is not possible for you or I to do all of the checks that are included in the MOT test, there are a number of very simple things you can check for and fix (if necessary) that will improve the chances of your car passing its MOT test.

Here’s our guide to preparing for an MOT:

  1. Windscreen chips or cracks – if these are of a certain size or fall within a certain area of the windscreen, they will cause an MOT fail. Autoglass has an excellent guide that will help you work out whether you need repair or replacement – click here.You should get chips fixed anyway, to prevent them becoming cracks requiring a replacement windscreen. Contact your insurance company to arrange this – it shouldn’t affect your no-claims bonus and will be cheaper than paying to do it yourself.
  2. Windscreen wipers & washer – make sure your wipers clear the windscreen properly and your washer is full and functions effectively. If it doesn’t check that the spray nozzles aren’t blocked up – try using a pin to clear them if they are. Halfords provides a windscreen wiper fitting service if you aren’t sure of doing it yourself.
  3. Lights & bulbs – make sure all of your car’s external lights are in working order. If they aren’t all working, replace the bulbs yourself or take a trip to Halfords and use its bulb-fitting service.
  4. Tyres – make sure all of your tyres are undamaged and have enough tread left. The law requires 1.6mm tread depth across 75% of the width of the tyre and around its whole circumference.
  5. Mirrors – if you have any broken or missing mirrors, replace them.
  6. Registration plates – make sure they are standard sized and securely fastened to your car. Non-standard plates (e.g. ones with fancy lettering) aren’t allowed and could result in an MOT fail.To get a new registration plate made up, you will need to produce your vehicle’s registration document. Most car accessory shops and similar places can produce new number plates.
  7. Horn – Test your horn. All cars need a working horn to pass an MOT test.
  8. Wash your car – MOT testers can refuse to test a car if it is too dirty. A clean car will help create the impression you car about your car and will make the tester’s job easier.


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