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MOT Checklist

Your MOT is essentially a comprehensive inspection of the vehicle to ensure it is both safe to drive and meets the standards and emissions levels set by the DVSA (Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency). Remember, a valid MOT is a legal requirement for all cars three years old or more.

Our DVSA-approved MOT testers will check each of the following items on your vehicle. If your vehicle meets the minimum standards you will be issued with an MOT pass certificate and the details logged on the DVSA database.


The vehicle is checked for any excessive corrosion or damage to the bodywork, vehicle structure and body shell. The bodywork should not exhibit any inappropriate repairs or modifications. If a tow bar is present, this will also be checked to ensure it is secure.

The bonnet should securely latch in the closed position.


The efficiency of the vehicle's braking performance is tested for condition and operation using a rolling road brake tester. If present, the ABS (anti-locking braking system) and ESC (electronic stability control) will be checked to ensure they are operational. Malfunction indicator lamps for ABS, ESC, electronic parking brake (EPB) and brake fluid warning are also tested.

Doors & Load Security

The doors will be checked by the MOT tester to make sure that they open and close correctly and latch in the closed position. Front doors should be operational from both the inside and outside of the vehicle. The rear doors should open from the outside of the vehicle.

The MOT test also ensures your boot or rear door can be secured in the closed position.


Checks will be made for visible electrical wiring. The battery will be checked to ensure it is securely housed and shows no sign of leaks. Checks will also be made for visible electrical wiring.

Exhaust System & Emissions

The exhaust system will be inspected and an emissions test carried out to ensure the vehicle meets specified emissions guidelines. The exhaust system must be secure and complete, has no serious leaks and is not producing excessive noise. If your vehicle is fitted with a catalytic converter as standard, this must be present.

Fuel System

The fuel system is checked for leaks, pipes and hoses inspected for damage and the fuel cap must fasten and seal securely. The MOT tester will need to be able to open the fuel cap during the MOT test so if your fuel cap has a lock, make sure the key is available to open this.


The MOT test will check the horn operates correctly and is suitable for the vehicle it is fitted to.

Registration Plates

The MOT tester will check the condition, security, colour and legibility of the number plate. The format of the numbers and letters must also meet DVSA guidelines and number plates with incorrect formatting and spacing can result in an MOT failure.


The MOT test checks the condition, operation, security and colour of your vehicles lights. Lights tested include headlights, sidelights, brake lights, indicators, rear fog lights and number plate lights. Reverse lights, front fog lights and internal lights other than malfunction indicator lamps are not included in the test. The MOT tester will also check the headlamp aim is correct and that the main beam warning light is operational.


The mirrors on your vehicle including wing mirrors and rear view mirror are checked to ensure they are all present, secure and do not exhibit damage that affects their functionality.

Seats & Seatbelts

The MOT tester will check the driver’s seat to make sure it can be adjusted and is fitted securely. All other seats are checked for security and the back seats must fasten securely in the upright position.

All seatbelts including those in the rear of the vehicle are checked for type, condition, correct operation and security and that all compulsory seatbelts are in place. The dashboard will also be checked to ensure any warning lights related to the seatbelt operation are functioning. These include airbags, seatbelt pretensioners and seat belt load limiters.

Steering & Suspension

Steering and Suspension components will be checked for condition and correct operation. The MOT tester will test that the steering lock mechanism works correctly and that any relevant dashboard warning lights are functioning properly.

Wheels & Tyres

The MOT tester will examine the tyres to check for irregular wear or damage including cuts, gouges, cracks and bulges. The tread depth will also be checked to ensure it meets minimum legal requirements and the tyre size and type is appropriate for the vehicle. Wheels are examined to ensure that are fixed securely to the vehicle. The spare wheel does not form part of the MOT test and so will not be examined.

In addition, vehicles manufactured from 2012 onwards will be checked to ensure the tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) warning light is working correctly.

Wipers & Washer Bottles

The driver must be able to have a clear view of the road, therefore, the windscreens wipers are checked to ensure they are in good condition and can effectively Clearwater and grime from the windscreen. The washers and hoses are also checked to ensure screenwash can be delivered to the windscreen. 


The MOT tester will examine the windscreen for any chips or cracks that affect the drivers line of sight. Windscreen mounted sat navs, cameras and their cradles must also be removed to give the tester a clear view of the windscreen. 

Vehicle Identification Number

The MOT test checks that the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is legibly displayed on the vehicle. This only applies to vehicles manufactured since 1980.

Further Information

For more information about the MOT test and MOT testing criteria and procedures please visit www.gov.uk.