What does an MOT test cover and what doesn’t an MOT test cover?
An MOT test is an annual inspection of your vehicle which ensures that it meets safety and emissions standards set by the UK government. MOT is an abbreviation of Ministry of Transport. It is a legal requirement to have a valid pass certificate for your MOT test each year, otherwise, you could invalidate your insurance and not be covered in the event of a collision or accident.
Most drivers are aware that they need to have an MOT test on a yearly basis, but there is often confusion around what the test covers in terms of checking your vehicle for signs of damage, or ‘wear and tear’, so we hope to address your frequently asked questions in the article below.
What does an MOT cover?
During an MOT test, your mechanic will check a range of components of your vehicle to ensure they meet the specific safety standards set out by law. These include:
- Seat belts (you can regularly test the safety of your seatbelts by pulling on them sharply to ensure that they lock into place as they are supposed to)
- Driver’s view of the road (all mirrors and windscreen)
- Electrical equipment, lamps and reflectors (you need to regularly check your lights and reflectors throughout the year and replace bulbs or casings where necessary as it is illegal to drive without them working correctly and you could receive hefty fines!)
- Suspension and steering
- Tyres and wheels
- Structure and body of the vehicle and general checks such as the speedometer, registration plate and Vehicle Identification Number
- Exhaust, fuel and emissions
Interestingly, some of the most common MOT failures are due to:
- 30% of MOT faults relate to lighting and signalling
- 10% of all MOT failures are related to tyres
- 9.6% of all MOT’s fail due to faults with the brakes
- 6.6% of all MOT’s fail due to issues with the Driver’s view of the road
What doesn't an MOT cover?
Your MOT will not cover issues such as checking that all the working parts under the bonnet are firing correctly so you should not rely on this test to tell you if you need replacement parts, unless something is so bad that the mechanic tells you that it needs to be addressed immediately, as an observation. An MOT test does not check your wheel alignment or balancing, only the condition of your tyres and wheels.
MOT tests will also not cover things like the condition of your gearbox, oil filters, battery condition, anti-freeze and screenwash levels, heating and air conditioning performance, or anything that is not included in the list above which details what the MOT covers.
For this reason, it is also essential that you book your car or vehicle in for a yearly Service, as well as an MOT. Sometimes you can book these in at the same time, to help reduce the amount of time that you need to leave your car at the garage (rather than two separate trips).
A Service (depending on the level of service that is provided by your garage) will identify any of the mechanical issues that could be overlooked during the MOT, and ensure that your vehicle is in top condition, preventing further damage and costly repairs later on.
What happens if my car fails the MOT test?
If your vehicle fails the MOT test, your mechanic will advise of any repairs and maintenance that needs to be performed to bring it up to standard. You will then need to book another test and you will not be able to drive your vehicle until you have gained a valid MOT pass certificate. At Queens Park Garage, we offer a free re-test within 10 days, provided that we perform the repairs to your vehicle.
How much is an MOT and a Service?
Here at Queens Park Garage, we charge a very competitive rate for MOT tests starting at £37.50 and providing great value (larger vehicles can sometimes incur additional costs depending on the size of the vehicle such as a Long wheel based vehicle, which we have the facilities to accommodate at our garage).
Our servicing starts from £65 and we can accommodate all makes and models of vehicle at our state-of-art garage. When you book a service with us, we can also arrange to perform a free wheel alignment check as part of the appointment.