Top 10 tips to help your car pass its MOT

If your car is due for its MOT, you want to make sure it passes its first time – so take a look at this interactive image to see 10 checks that you can carry out at home to help see it through.

Just hover your cursor over the image to see the tips, which were first published by the SMMT.

If you’re not sure how to carry out these checks, or are unable to, your local Toyota dealer will be happy to help. Meanwhile, read on to see our top tips to ensuring your car passes its MOT.

Free visual safety check

You can also book your Toyota in for a free Visual Safety Check; a comprehensive inspection that checks everything from bodywork to brakes.

Qualified technicians will perform 37 checks all for free. You’ll get a clear and precise report that highlights anything that needs doing urgently to meet safety and legal requirements, as well as any work that might need doing before your next service is due.

Find your local Toyota dealer here.

[youvid embded=’t’ vid=’ey9rihZ0-RA’]

Watch our video above to get see our top 10 tips to help your car pass the MOT, based on the SMMT’s ‘Minute Or Two’ check – or scroll down to read them in full. 

1. Headlights and indicators

Test all of your car’s headlights, sidelights, rear lights, hazard lights and indicators to make sure they work.

2. Brake lights

Ask a friend to check that the rear brake lights come on when you press the brake pedal – including any brake strip light. If you’re working alone, carefully reverse up to a reflective surface such as a window, wall or garage door and use your mirrors to see for yourself.

3. Number plate

Make sure that the number plate is clean and readable – even a quick wipe with a cloth can make a big difference. The font and spacing of letters must comply with legal requirements to be passed by the MOT station.

4. Wheels and tyres

Check that wheels and tyres are undamaged. The minimum legal tyre tread depth is 1.6mm and any tyres with less than this will be marked as an MOT fail, although for safety’s sake, we advise that tyres are changed when tread reaches 3mm. If you’re in doubt about how much tread is left on a tyre, your local Toyota dealer can check for you and supply the right tyre if a replacement is needed.

5. Seats and seatbelts

The driver’s seat should adjust forwards and backwards and all seatbelts should be in good working order. Inspect the seatbelt’s full length for damage, and tug sharply on all seatbelts to check that they react as they’re supposed to if you have to brake severely.

6. Windscreen

Check the view from the front of the car – any damage larger than 40mm will cause a fail, as will any damage wider than 10mm within the sweep of the windscreen wipers.

7. Windscreen wipers

Any tears or holes in the wiper rubber can cause an MOT fail, so make sure your wipers are able to keep your windscreen clean.

8. Screenwash

Something as simple as an empty screenwash container can cause an MOT fail, so if you have some screenwash liquid, top up the container before the test. Your Toyota dealer can supply high-quality grime-fighting screenwash if needed.

9. Horn

Press the horn button to make sure it works – if it doesn’t, your Toyota dealership will need to repair or replace it.

10. Fuel and engine oil

Make sure your car is filled with enough fuel and engine oil – both are required to test your car’s emissions levels. If you are unsure about the type of oil that should be used, your Toyota dealer can supply the right kind.

Note: When checking fluid levels and handling parts that could be become hot to the touch (eg bulbs), it’s always best to ensure that the vehicle has had an opportunity to cool down fully.

See more information on MOTs at

Comments (3)

  1. Your post gives some very useful tips on things one should consider before applying for MOT test. It can be very useful to any one who want their car pass in MOT test.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.