What's checked during an MOT?

Checks to expect in the MOT test

The MOT test confirms that your vehicle meets the environmental and road safety standards required by law.

In this article

Book your MOT with Smart Care

Book an MOT


Is it legal to drive without an MOT?

It's illegal to drive a vehicle over 3 years old without a valid MOT certificate. You need to get it tested each year. Taxis and private hire vehicles need an MOT after their first year.

Vans and motorbikes over 40 years old don't need an MOT test as long as they haven't been substantially changed in the last 30 years.

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What checks are included in an MOT test?

The test takes about an hour and it checks:

  • Axles, wheels, tyres and suspension
  • Body, structure and attachments (including exhaust system, seats and doors)
  • Steering
  • Brakes
  • Brake fluid contamination
  • Brake pads warning light
  • Fuel system
  • Exhaust emissions
  • Diesel particulate filter (DPF) for tampering
  • Fluid leaks other than coolant and Adblue
  • Lights, battery and electrical wiring
  • Daytime running lights
  • Reversing lights
  • Horn
  • Number plates
  • Seatbelts
  • Speedometer
  • Visibility (wipers, windscreen, mirrors)

The engine, clutch and gearbox are not tested. The full details of the MOT test are on GOV.UK.

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Get your car ready for its MOT

Vehicles often fail an MOT because of small, easily preventable issues, like faulty bulbs or the condition of the registration number plate.

Our pre-MOT checklist gives your vehicle the best chance of passing, saving you time and money. The checklist covers things like lights, tyres, oil, wipers, the horn and seatbelts.

Or you can watch our video about the checks you can do before the MOT.


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MOT test from AA Smart Care

When you book an MOT you get:

  • Testing at AA approved garages.
  • Quick and easy online booking and payment.
  • Repair parts and labour are guaranteed for 1 year or up to 12,000 miles.
  • Fair, transparent pricing.

And if you book a service with an MOT, you can get free vehicle collection and return, subject to availability.

If your car does fail its MOT and you'd like us to make the necessary repairs, we can carry out your retest for free.


Author: The AA

The easy way to book an MOT

Book your MOT test at an AA approved local garage.

Free collection and return when you book a service with an MOT, subject to availability. Repair parts and labour are guaranteed for 1 year or up to 12,000 miles.