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Don’t fail to PASS your MOT first time

As MOT specialists begin to reopen, many of us will be looking to book our vehicles in for their annual check-up. But before doing so, we recommend that you don’t overlook a preventable defect and instead give your vehicle the best chance of a first time PASS.

Perform these 10 simple checks, so there are no surprises in store.

10 simple checks

1. Lights and Indicators

Walk around your vehicle and check your lights are all working as normal. Specific lights to check are:

  • Front and rear
  • Headlights
  • Licence plate light
  • Hazard lights
  • Indicators
  • Brake Lights
2. Wheels and Tyres

Checking your tyres to ensure they are still legal is straightforward, quick and easy. There are two methods you can use when doing this:

  1. Most tyres have tread wear indicators. These are raised ridges within the groove of the tyre. If these ridges are level with the surface of the tyre, the remaining tread is 1.6mm and it must be replaced.
  2. Check your tyre tread using the 20p test - If the outer band of the 20p coin is obscured when it is inserted, then your tread is above the legal limit.

After completing this test, if you find your tyres are near or under the legal limit (1.6mm), you will need to source replacement/s, before your MOT. To do this, visit our website or book via the AlphaGuide app.

Don't forget, as standard we are happy to replace tyres at 2mm, so we can ensure you're always good to go.

Tyre tread depth

Whilst checking your tread depth, also check:

  • Damage to the tyres, such as cuts or bulges
  • Damage, including distortion or cracks, to the wheels and alloys
  • All four wheels are securely attached to the car, with no bolts missing.
3. Warning Lights

Be sure to carry out visual checks for warning lights to ensure they are not permanently illuminated.

If any of your warning lights have been coming on intermittently, it’s worth getting them checked out before booking your MOT.

4. Bodywork

We recommend that repairs are carried out before the MOT test where there is any damage or excessive corrosion to the bodywork. Sharp edges on the bodywork are not permitted as they could cause injury.

If you have Accident Management with Alphabet, we will then work with you to arrange repair before your MOT. To do so, please report your damage to us via the AlphaGuide app or 0370 5050 133. If you don’t have Accident Management with us, please get in touch with your company or insurance provider, following your standard process.

5. Windows and Mirrors

Any damage wider than 10mm in the driver’s central view, Zone A*, will cause an MOT fail, as will any damage larger than 40mm in the whole of Zone A – C* (swept area).

Another common defect that is often overlooked, is windscreen stickers or fittings, such as sat-nav devices. Any obstruction to your view as a driver is deemed dangerous and could cause an MOT failure.

*Windscreen Area Diagram

Windscreen-Wiper

6. Windscreen Wipers

Make sure your wipers are able to keep your windscreen clean – any tears or holes in the wiper rubber can be an MOT fail.

7. Screenwash

Make sure your screenwash is topped up before taking your car in for a test. Something as simple as an empty container can cause an MOT fail.

8. Seats and Seatbelts

Check your seats and seatbelts to make sure they are still safe and secure.

  1. Are there any cuts or frays in the material?
  2. Do they retract properly?
  3. Do they clip and unclip without hassle?
  4. Is the attachment to the floor or seat secure?
  5. If you give them a good tug, do they lock as expected?
9. Tow Bar

If your vehicle has a tow bar fitted, check that it is secure and not damaged or corroded.

10. Horn

Give a short blast of the horn to make sure it works. Make sure there is nobody close by, otherwise this could be quite a shock!