The Ultimate Guide to Understanding MOT Regulations in the UK

Whether you already own a vehicle or are planning on getting one in the near future, it’s important to understand MOT regulations and your legal and safety responsibilities when it comes to driving on UK roads.

One of these vital requirements in the UK is that all vehicles over 3 years old must have an MOT test carried out annually.

This begs the question, what do those tests actually involve?

At AutoInspire, specialists in car servicing and MOT testing in Chesterfield, we have written this helpful guide so that you can get up-to-speed with understanding everything from what’s covered within the test to how much you should expect to pay.


What actually is an MOT test, and who does it apply to?

When you purchase a motor vehicle (car, motorcycle, or van), one of the first things you’re told is when its next MOT is due. New cars come with 3 years no MOT, but any car older than this will be subject to an MOT every year.

MOT stands for Ministry of Transport, and is a legal requirement for every driver to ensure their car has one that is up-to-date.

This is so that your motor vehicle is certified as safe and roadworthy to protect both your safety and that of others on the road.

This test must be passed for you to be able to remain to drive it safely and legally.

MOT regulations consist of a test to involve an inspection of key aspects of your vehicle, including breaks, lights, emissions, steering and suspension, and more.

When do I need to get an MOT for my car?

You can check if your MOT is in date here.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your MOT is always in date – set a reminder in your phone’s calendar a month before it’s due to make sure you never fall behind.

If you drive your car without an MOT, you could be fined up to £2,500, get points on your licence, and even be disqualified from driving.

There are other benefits to keeping your MOT certificate up to date besides being road legal.

It offers peace of mind that your vehicle is meeting safety standards, and that everything is in working order.

Bear in mind that if you miss your MOT is out of date, you could be driving around in a potentially unsafe vehicle.


What types of tests are included in an MOT?

MOT regulations consider a comprehensive list of all the important parts of your car which are tested:
● Body
● Fuel system
● Seatbelts
● Steering & suspension
● Wipers
● Windscreen
● Electrical wiring & battery
● Lights
● Registration plates
● Bonnet
Tyres & wheels
● Horn
● Exhaust system
● Mirrors
● Doors
● Exhaust emissions
● Towbar
● Boot
● Seats

All of these parts are checked for vital safety reasons, both for your vehicle and risks to other vehicles on the road.


How to prepare for your MOT test

There are several key things you can check before your MOT test to make the likelihood of you passing much higher.
● Check the windscreen washers and wipers are working properly and not damaged, and that the screen wash is topped up.
● The seat belts are not damaged and lock when pulled on quickly.
● The tyre tread is over 1.6mm deep (including the spare!).
● Turn all the lights on and walk around the car, checking all lights are working and that there are no cracks or damage on any of the bulbs.
● Check the brake fluid level and the thickness of your brake pads – they should be no less than 3mm thick.
● Check for chips and cracks in the windscreen.

If any of these raise issues, your car might not meet MOT regulations. Get your car checked out professionally prior to your MOT.


5 Common reasons why vehicles fail their MOT

● Light issues account for 17% of MOT failures. This includes issues like broken bulbs and faulty indicators.
● Tire tread depth issues account for 14% of failures. You should always check your tires are above 3mm tread depth. A failure occurs when it is below 1.6mm.
● Registration plates surprisingly account for 14% of failures – this can be due to damage or a light failure above your plate.
● Windscreen chips or cracks blocking the drivers view of the road ahead are another main cause of MOT failure.
● Lastly, windscreen wipers with tears or significant damage which leave smears on the windscreen account for 12% of failures.

Your MOT regulations cover multiple areas, such as emissions, brakes, and windscreen visibility. With a little preparation beforehand, you can help ensure that your vehicle passes with flying colours.

AutoInspire experts are here to help you get through MOT tests stress-free.

Our team of experience mechanics provides reliable and professional MOT services in Chesterfield for any make or model of vehicle.

So don’t take any chances when it comes to your car’s state on the road – make sure you have it tested at least once a year by AutoInspire and be sure that your car is road safe.