In a recent post, we covered the criticality of ensuring your car is taken for its MOT in a timely manner. Irrespective of the type of car you drive (electric vehicles included), an annual MOT is a formal legal requirement. 

Fail to meet your obligations as a motorist and you could be slapped with a fine, or even sent to jail in the worst-case scenario.

But what occurred to us in the meantime is how comparatively few people know exactly what goes under the microscope during an MOT.  After all, it’s not until your car fails its MOT for any specific reason that you really give it a second thought.

Ignorance may seem like bliss, but knowing what an MOT entails can put you in a better position to ensure your car passes with flying colours. If there are one or two tiny issues you could easily correct yourself ahead of time, it simply makes sense to do just that.

With this in mind, here’s a (very) briefly summarised list of the main things examined during the course of an annual MOT:

  • The general structure, chassis and bodywork of your vehicle
  • Safety and general integrity of your car’s fuel system
  • Checks for engine warning lights (and other warnings) on your dashboard
  • Detailed exhaust emissions analysis and safety checks
  • An inspection of the physical exhaust system itself
  • Checks to ensure all seat belts are working properly
  • A look at the condition and safety of each of the car’s seats
  • Checks to make sure the doors are in good working order and safe
  • The presence of the minimum required number of mirrors
  • Load security checks – i.e. the safety of your boot or tailgate
  • A full test of the safety and effectiveness of your car’s breaks 
  • Checks to ensure that all exterior lights are functioning properly
  • Presence and visibility of registration plates
  • Condition of tyres including their size and tread depth
  • Safety of your car’s bonnet and its locking mechanism
  • Working windscreen wipers and washers 
  • A functional horn 
  • Any potential cracks or damage to the windscreen itself
  • A full inspection of your car’s steering and suspension systems
  • Basic electrical checks and wiring safety inspections

All of which appears quite comprehensive, but passing an MOT doesn’t actually guarantee that your car is safe for use on public roads long-term. It simply means that on the day of the test, there were no obvious faults that would have resulted in its failure. 

Many motorists assume that if a car has recently passed its MOT, it’s perfectly safe to drive without a second thought for the next 12 months.  In reality, a car could quite easily suffer a catastrophic failure of some kind on the drive home from the testing centre.

The advice from experts is, therefore, simple – don’t take things for granted. Annual MOTs are a formal legal requirement, but are not a recipe for peace of mind in their own right.

You still need to have your car regularly serviced, keep an eye out for anything untoward, and make sure you nip any potential problems in the bud at an early stage.

And if all else fails, you can always call Take My Scrap Car to arrange the responsible disposal of your vehicle, and walk away with a fair price paid!