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First MOT? Here's what you can expect


Posted on 15/02/17

Owning a car is pretty much awesome always, but it does requires some serious adulting from time to time.

Case in point: the M.O.T.

Getting ready for your MOT can give even veteran drivers a bad case of the fear and leave first timers wanting to curve. To arm you with the keys to success, we are giving you some pointers on what to expect. 

Don’t worry ……. We got this.

What is an MOT?
The MOT is an annual test for cars over 4 years old to make sure they meet minimum road safety and environmental standards.

Is it a major pain? Yes. 

Does it force you to do maintenance on your cars?  Yes. 

Does it make our roads safer? Also, yes. 

Booking your test.

You can book online here

You will need your V5C (that coloured bit of paper with all the car info) as it has your Vehicle Registration number and the last four digits of your Chassis Number.

Pick a suitable time and test centre and have your debit card ready as it will cost you £30.50. Greaaaaaat.

Pro Tip:  They send out a letter 7 weeks before your MOT expires. Book your test as soon as your letter comes as those spots fill up crazy fast.

Getting Ready

Give your car a visual once over. 

Check your lights to make sure all the bulbs are working. This means headlights, sidelights, rear lights, hazard lights, indicators and break lights.

Pro Tip: If you don’t have anyone to help you, park in front of a window at night and you can check the lights in the reflection. 

Check your tyres. Minimum tread depth is 1.6mm but really you should be replacing them when they go under 3mm. 

It’s not mandatory to get a service before an MOT but if you are due one then it wouldn’t be a bad idea. It won’t guarantee you’ll pass but it will increase your chances.

Clean up your mess 

Major Key. You won’t fail for being a pig but it makes the examiners job easier and you are relying on their judgement.

 If you’re feeling flush, you can leave your car in for a Valet and an MOT wash. If not, bag up any rubbish and hoover it out yourself.


On the day

It’s advised you arrive at least 10 minutes before your time slot. Follow this advice. If you are late, that’s too bad bro, your slot is gone and you’ve lost your money. You have to book a new appointment, pay again, and probably be off the road until your new date rolls round.

Park up in the lane indicated on your confirmation letter/email. When prompted, drive your car in slowly and stop when directed.

Stage 1

First up is a smoke test / emission test. This involves little participation on your part so stay in the car and follow instructions.

Next up: Under bonnet inspection. Make sure you know how to ‘pop the hood’ as you will be asked to it and you don’t want to let the side down. 

Stage 2

Lights: You will be asked to operate the lights on the car. You will hopefully be a pro at headlights and indicators by now, but what about the fog lamp and the hazard lamps? Master these skills. 

Pro Tip: You might be asked to demonstrate a whole bunch of other stuff like the horn, windscreen wipers and washers, the boot, fuel cap and seat belts. The full list is here if you wanna crush it.

Stage 3
And breathe. You’ve done what you can. Take a seat in the passenger side and let the examiner in the driving seat. They are about to test the breaks so put on your seatbelt and brace yourself.  

At this point the examiner will inspect the interior of your car. If you ignored our earlier advice on cleaning, prepare to squirm uncomfortably. 

Stage 4.
Nearly there. You will be asked to leave the car and take a seat in the waiting area while your car gets its underbody inspection. Giggity. 

What you are going to see next may alarm you. The structural integrity and construction of your car will be put to the test with some intense vehicular twerking. Stay calm. 

Now the moment of truth. The examiner call you over and deliver their verdict.

Pass: YAAAASSS, Road worthy yo!

Fail: No,no,no,not today. Shots Fired. Ermahgerd. Basic piece of junk. NOT OK! 

Now you have that out of the way, you will get a list of what you need to fix to make your car roadworthy before you book in for the re-test. 

Good News! If you book the re-test within 21 days then you only pay a reduced fee of £18.50

Good Luck!

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