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About the test

Everyone who uses a vehicle on the road must keep it in a roadworthy condition. The MOT test checks that vehicles meet road safety and environmental standards. The first MOT test for the majority of vehicles is required when itís three years old and thereafter every year. There are some minor exceptions to this and these vehicles need testing after the first year (some mini-buses, taxi's etc).

What the MOT test includes

The MOT looks at some important items on your car to see that they meet key legal requirements at the time of test.

The body and vehicle structure: free from excessive corrosion or damage in specific areas, no sharp edges likely to cause injury to pedestrians.

Fuel system: no leaks, fuel cap fastens and seals securely. The fuel cap will need to be opened so be sure the key is available.

Exhaust emissions: the vehicle meets the requirements for exhaust emissions, the level of which is dependent on the age and fuel type of the vehicle. For example diesel vehicles with a turbo charger are permitted to emit more smoke than a vehicle without a turbo.

Exhaust system: is secure, complete, without serious leaks and silences effectively.

Seat belts: all belts installed are checked for type, condition, operation and security. All compulsory seat belts must be in place. All belts that are fitted, regardless of whether they are mandatory, must be in working order.

Seats: the front seats are secure. Front and rear seatbacks can be secured in the upright position.

Doors: latch securely in closed position. Front doors must open from inside and outside the vehicle. Rear doors may need to be opened to gain access to testable items.

Mirrors: the minimum legal number of mirrors are on the vehicle, their condition and security.

Load security: boot or tailgate can be secured in the closed position. Access to the boot must be possible.

Brakes: condition, operation and performance (efficiency test).

Wheels and tyres: condition, security, size, type and tread depth. Spare wheels are not part of the test.

Registration plates: condition, security, characters are legible, correctly formed and spaced.

Lights: condition, operation and security. Headlamps tested for aim.

Bonnet: securely latches in the closed position.

Wipers and washers: operate to give the driver a clear view ahead.

Windscreen: condition and the drivers view of the road - no stickers etc. impeding vision.

Horn: operates correctly and is of a suitable type.

Steering and suspension: are of a satisfactory condition and operation.

Vehicle identification number (VIN): present on vehicles first used on or after 1 August 1980. Not more than one different VIN is displayed (except on multistage build vehicles).

Note: The test does not involve the removal of any covers, road wheels or shields to inspect testable items.