At Home MOT checks

17th February 2015

Receiving an MOT test failure certificate can be a frustrating and sometimes, expensive inconvenience. However around 1.5million vehicles fail their MOT test every year due to simple things. There are tips and checks that can be completed at home, relatively simply and cheaply, to give your car a head-start and get it on course for a potential MOT test pass!

Lights & Bulbs

Headlights, Indicators & Brake Lights

All of your lights should function properly to pass the MOT test. This means all bulbs must work, the lights must stay on when triggered and the indicators must function properly, this includes the number plate light.

Checking your lights is a simple task, but have a friend or family member help you test your brake lights, not forgetting the brake light strip too. If you need to replace any bulbs, this can be done relatively cheaply at home and your car manual will tell you how to do this.

Number Plate

Your number plate must comply with the laws on spacing and font. These are available online to check, but shouldn?t be as issue unless you have had a personalised number plate fitted or the plate has been changed since the last MOT test. Most importantly your number plate must be clean and legible. A quick and simple task at home could be the difference between a pass and a fail.


Fuel & Engine Oil

You must ensure your car has enough fuel in it before it enters the testing station. This is the same for engine oil. If you don?t have adequate liquids in your car the MOT tester can actually refuse to begin the test in the first place. Your car will need to be run during the MOT test in order to check the emission levels so take a trip to the filling station beforehand. If you?re unsure of which engine oil to use in your car, contact your nearest Malvern Tyres Group branch for advice, or check your car manual.

Wheels & Tyres

You should check your wheels and tyres for any damage before it has its MOT test. Ensure your tyre tread depth is at least 1.6mm, which is the legal minimum, as any tyres with less than this will cost you a fail. If you?re in doubt about how much tread is left on a tyre, contact your nearest Malvern Tyres Group branch and let the technicians check for you. For more information on the condition of your tyres, take a look at our tyre safety page. If you notice any damage or you have any questions, have a specialist check them before the MOT test.

Seats & Seat Belts

To pass the MOT test, the driver?s seat must have the ability to adjust backwards and forwards. All of the seat belts should be pulled out to their full length and checked for damage and they should all work properly too. At home you can give each one a sharp tug to check their reaction. If any are faulty you should have them replaced or fixed before the MOT test begins.


Your horn must be in full working order to gain a pass certificate. Most people don?t use their horn very frequently, so make sure you test it in good time beforehand in case you have to have it repaired.


Windscreens, Wipers & Wash

You should have sufficient screen wash in your car?s reservoir before the MOT test begins. You also need to check that your windscreen wipers are in good working order so do this at the same time. Your windscreen should be clear from cracks or chips that are any wider than 40mm in size. The area directly in front of the driver, know as the swept area, shouldn?t have any damage wider than 10mm in size. This is a nice simple task that can be done at home in good time before the test begins.

A selection of our Malvern Tyres Group branches offer MOT testing. Find your nearest branch and contact our friendly staff to book in for your MOT test at a time convenient to you. If you have found any issues or required repair work during your home MOT preparation, have your car checked in good time before the MOT test at a Malvern Tyres Group Branch.

We have a wide variety of branches offering MOT tests located throughout the Midlands, South Wales and South West England. Find out which branches offer MOT tests and call for availability and price.

Buy tyres online with The Tyre Group for fitment at one of our branches in the Midlands, South West England, South Wales and Scotland Contact The Tyre Group incorporating Malvern Tyres, Discount Tyres, County Tyre, King David Tyres Ltd and AutoTyre & Battery Co. We have more than 50 branches located throughout the Midlands, South West England, South Wales and Scotland