UK law requires a MOT test available at Bristol Street for nearly all vehicles that are three years old or older. The MOT process is relatively simple and inexpensive, but many people, particularly first-timers, fear it. The anxiety isn’t completely unwarranted: Approximately 40% of all cars fail the MOT test on the first attempt.
The good news is that the majority of those failures occur because of minor faults and oversights rather than major issues that require costly repairs. In fact, a standard car servicing is usually enough to correct the minor issues that are likely to cause a MOT failure.
Before taking your car to the MOT, consider the following 10 items:
1. Inspect the headlights.
Make sure they work. If a lamp has failed, replace it. It’s an easy process and a relatively inexpensive fix that will avoid the headache of a guaranteed MOT failure.
2. Check the tires.
The MOT requires that all tires have a tread depth of 1.6 mm.
3. Replace the windshield wiper blades.
Replace the blades and then top off the windshield wash reservoir. This is one of the most common reasons why people fail that first MOT pass. You should change your wipers regularly, and it’s a good habit to schedule the change just prior to the test.
4. Check the windshield.
There can be no large chips or cracks in the driver’s area of the window. If you’re unsure about your windshield, ask a glass repair service that provides free estimates.
5. Test the horn.
The horn should work when pressed briefly, when pressed for a long period and when pressed in a series of random bursts.
6. Wash the car inside and out.
Unfortunately, testers can refuse a car based on cleanliness alone. It’s also a matter of psychology, and a clean car simply puts your best foot forward.
7. Don’t wait to the last minute.
You can submit your car a month in advance. When you have free time, prepare your car and take it in at your convenience. That simplifies the process and gives you time if something major is wrong.
8. Shop around.
Not all MOT testers charge the same rate. Choose a service that provides a free retest in the event of failure.
9. Watch and learn.
Ideally, take your car to the same testing centre each year. Watch their approach. Each service is different, and knowing what your service looks for can help you prepare for the test.
10. Read the certificate.
Pass or fail, you’ll receive notes overleaf that can include advisory notices. Those advisories do not have to be handled immediately, but they are matters that you’ll want to take in for car servicing sooner rather than later.
It is common to get your car serviced after an MOT as the car will already be in the garage. A car service available at Bristol Street Motors is the best way to keep your car maintained. It is recommended to get this done at least once a year, that way your car will be kept in tip top condition.