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How To Pass An MOT Check

Firstly, do you know how to pass an MOT check? With 208,381 MOT checks made on 21st September 2022 in the UK alone*, it is important to be prepared when your next MOT check comes around. Importantly, MOT stands for Ministry of Transport. They originally created the test in 1960 to determine if cars were safe to stay on the roads. Consequently, the three-year date for the first test was introduced in 1967. The UK MOT regulations could initially appear a little complex. Therefore we have provided the most frequent reasons for MOT failure and how to fix them.

To lessen the likelihood that you may get unwelcome news from your mechanic, Acorn Insurance has created this handy checklist. Furthermore, once your car passes its MOT check consider choosing Acorn Insurance, provider of specialist car insurance since 1982, to insure your vehicle too? 

Is It Time For You To Have An MOT Check?

Secondly, a valid MOT test certificate is required for every vehicle three years of age or older. Moreover, it is your duty by law duty to see that it is inspected and renewed every year. Inspect your most recent test certificate to see when your current MOT expires. You can be informed if the car has a valid certificate, and when your MOT expires with just your vehicle registration number on the website. Finally, it is illegal to drive without a valid MOT. You can only drive your car, if roadworthy, to a pre-arranged MOT appointment or to be repaired.  

This brief overview of what is examined during an MOT check focuses on items you can recognise on your own. The list covers everything testers will look for when you hand them your keys.

  • Brakes – if brakes are making a squealing or clicking noise when being used, it could be a sign there is a problem with them.
  • Lights – headlights, taillights, indicators (including hazard lights), sidelights, brake lights, and rear fog lights must all function properly.
  • Tyres – The three important things expert MOT mechanics will be looking for during your MOT check include: Tyre Tread Depth, Tyre Condition, and Air Pressure – is it correct for your vehicle?

Top 3 MOT Failure Reasons:

Finally, according to our MOT checklist, the most frequent reasons for MOT failure are ones you can watch out for and act against. This is without spending a significant amount of your hard-earned money. The three MOT failures that occur most frequently include:  

  • Lighting and signalling (30%) 
  • Tyres (10%) 
  • Obstructed driver vision (8.5%)  

Every driver should periodically check the condition of each tyre and maintain the proper pressure, regardless of when their MOT check is due. Checking tyre tread depth for your MOT can be undertaken easily at home using a 20p coin. Simply place the coin in the tread grooves in three separate places on the tyre. If any part of the outer band of the coin is visible, your tyre tread is too low. This may mean your tyres need to be replaced.  

You should also make sure your washer jets and wipers are functioning correctly. Interestingly, your car can fail an MOT check for having no washer fluid! Therefore, it is best practice to regularly check your washer fluid levels whether your MOT test is due or not. This is especially true in poor driving conditions when your windscreen can become obscured easily. This can impair driver visibility. Finally, you should act accordingly if you see any new chips have appeared on your windscreen. 

How To Pass Your MOT Check:

There are steps you can take to increase your likelihood of passing your MOT. The aspects of your car you might want to check include: 

  • The brake fluid – ensure you have enough brake fluid and that the warning light for low levels is not activated.
  • The mirrors – make sure that the required rear-view mirrors or indirect vision equipment provide a clear view of the back from the driver’s seat.
  • The warning lights – unless the issue pointed out contradicts an MOT test requirement, yellow and amber warning lights will be noted as a recommendation to be corrected if required.
  • The amount of tread on the tyres – you can quickly and simply check the tread depth of your tyres at home with a 20p coin. Simply place the coin in three distinct tread grooves on the tyre.
  • The lights – the front, rear, brake, fog, indicator, rear reflector and registration plate lights on your car must all be firmly installed and in the correct positions.
  • Your windscreen – check to see if the wipers and washers are functioning and fully operational.
    Test your horn – the horn should be audibly heard and activated by a switch or button inside the vehicle.
  • Make sure your car has enough oil – Find the dipstick, remove it and wipe off any extra oil to make sure you are starting with a clean stick. After that, re-dip the dipstick and remove it. On the dipstick, the oil should be visible between the ‘min’ and ‘max’ markings.

You can check the MOT status of your vehicle online. Simply enter the vehicle registration on the website to check the current MOT status of your vehicle. 

MOT Check Done? Request A Quote From Acorn Today!

With the potential headache of MOT checks dealt with, why not request a private car insurance quote from our team of experts? With over 40 years of experience in the industry, Acorn is well-established. We consider drivers classed as ‘higher risk’ other insurance companies may not cover. This includes motorists with driving or non-driving convictions. If you have passed your MOT check with flying colours and are looking for a new insurer, click “Get a Quote” today for an instant, no obligation, online quotation and join Acorn Insurance! 

*Figures correct at the time of writing 

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