Checking headlights in an MOT test

What is Checked during an MOT test

Have you ever wondered exactly what an MOT tester checks during an MOT test? MOT tests are designed to make sure a vehicle meets the minimum safety requirements to be safe and roadworthy. They also have to meet emission standards to ensure they aren’t going to excessively impact the environment or be a hazard to health.

MOT Checks

Body or Vehicle Structure

Our tester has to ensure that the vehicle is free from excessive corrosion and damage to specific areas. Looking out for any sharp edges that could potentially cause an injury. If there is a tow bar fitted then it is checked for security, condition, inappropriate repairs or modifications. Engine mountings are checked, along with the Speedometer condition.

Fuel System

Our tester has to ensure there are no signs of leaks and that the security and condition of pipes and hoses are safe. He will need to open the fuel cap for the test so the key needs to be available.

Exhaust emissions

The vehicle needs to meet the requirements for the emissions test, this will vary depending on the age and fuel type of vehicle.

Exhaust system

This needs to be secure and complete. Free from serious leaks and not too noisy.

Seat Belts

All seat belts fitted are checked for type, condition, operation and security.


Checks are made to ensure the driver’s seat can be adjusted and that all seats are secure and can be adjusted to the upright position.


For obvious safety reasons the front doors should be able to open from the inside and out. Rear doors need to open from the outside of the vehicle. Hinges and latches are checked for security and condition.


The correct number of mirrors, their condition and security.

Load security

Boot or tailgate can be secured in the closed position.


Brakes are checked for their condition including inappropriate repairs or modifications, operation and performance (efficiency test) Wheels or trims aren’t removed to check the brakes during an MOT test. The ABS or electronic stability control (ESC) is checked if fitted. Check of the MIL for ABS, electronic stability control, electronic park brake and brake fluid warning.

Tyre and wheels

Tyres are checked for security, tyre size, type and tread depth. Spare tyres are not inspected.

Registration Plates

These are checked for condition, security, colour and that the characters are formed and spaced correctly.


Checked for condition and operations including HID and LED headlamps for cleaning, self levelling and security. The headlamp aim is checked along with the main beam warning light.


Security latches in the closed position.

Wipers and washers

Operate to give the driver a clear view ahead.


The condition of the windscreen is checked to ensure the drivers view of the road is safe and unobscured.


Correct operation and suitable type.

Steering and suspension

This is checked for condition and operation, along with checking there are no inappropriate repairs or modifications. The power steering pipes and hoses are checked for corrosion.