MOT Essentials

The MOT test is the most important test for your car. You could avoid unnecessary cost by doing a few simple checks and a little routine maintenance. Below are nine MOT checks to help make sure your car passes first time.

1. Lights All lights need to be in perfect working order. This includes headlights, brake lights and indicator lights. If any are faulty they’ll need to be repaired or bulbs replaced

2. Wheels and tyres The minimum legal requirement for tyre tread depth is 1.6mm. If the tyres are less than this the car will fail its MOT. We recommend changing your tyres when the depth reaches 3mm, just to be on the safe side.

3. Windscreen Making sure there are no obvious obstructions with your windscreen is vital. Any cracks or chips will almost certainly be flagged and the car will fail. Leaving them will only risk further damage.

4. Wipers These are also scrutinised during a car’s MOT test. This is to make sure there are no tears or visible faults. Driving in poor conditions is difficult enough without having faulty wiper blades.

5. Number plate It might not seem like an important check but having a readable number plate is a legal requirement. Clean all dirt off and check there is no damage.

6. Fluids The car will need to have all its fluid topped up. This includes windscreen wash, brake fluid and most importantly oil. Use the car’s dipstick to check the oil level beforehand.

7. Handbrake Not a common check to make but the next time you park on a hill make sure the car’s handbrake doesn’t slip. A good test is to pull the handbrake up and count the clicks there should be six before it’s fully engaged.

8. Body work Check for any visible signs of rust or damage to the body work that might affect the performance of the car. Particularly look at the wheel arches.

9. Steering A simple test is to drive along a straight road and move the car from left to right. If it pulls or drifts uncontrollably then it’s certainly a red flag and will need to be looked at before the MOT. Whilst some of these checks are easily carried out and easy to rectify, others will need a mechanic to repair.

For peace of mind visit a Unipart Car Care Centre, your trusted local garage. Search for your nearest Unipart Car Care Centre by visiting