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2017 MOT Test Checklist – Pass on your First Try!

By Nathaniel

So what is a mot test first of all?


The MOT test is a source of anxiety for car-owners across the UK. Of the 29.6 million vehicles tested this past year, 8,147,167 vehicles failed to pass the initial test last year, a whopping 36.3 percent! Don’t become a statistic – follow our checklist to ensure your car is prepared to pass the MOT before you enter the garage.


EXTERIOR mot car check


Tyre Maintenance and Pressure


Check your tyre pressure, ensuring each tyre meets recommended minimums (usually between 20 – 30 psi)


Tyre treads cannot fall below the legal depth limit of 1.6 mm. Cuts longer than 25mm, bulges, tears, lumps, or other irregularities will also result in a failed MOT test.


To test depth, place a 20p coin in the treads. If the outer band is covered, your tyres are good to go!


mot test, 20p test, tyre treads


For more specifics on tyre health and safety, see our Blog Post


Registration – Plates and VIN


Ensure number plates are properly installed on both the front and back of the car, with clearly visible lettering and minimal rust.


Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) must also be properly displayed. Check for it in the driver’s side door or above the car’s dashboard.


  • Still can’t find it? Look in your owner’s manual or contact your manufacturer for the exact location.



Lights & Signaling


Grab a partner for this one! The MOT car check tests for:


  • Headlamps


  • Hazard lights


  • Turn Signals


  • Break Lights


  • Fog Lights


  • Registration Plate Lights



Test lights individually, with your partner checking for strength and proper direction of each light. If a light is dim or misdirected, you should get it repaired at a garage before your MOT test.



INTERIOR Mot Car Check


Seats and Seat Belts


Each seat belt will be checked for safety. Tug sharply on each belt to test its locking mechanism, as well as visually inspecting it for damage.


If any belts are frayed or torn, they will need to be replaced before the MOT car check.


Make sure the driver’s seat adjusts forward and backward with ease.




Give it a honk! Your horn must emit a continuous, loud sound to pass the MOT.


Windscreen and Mirrors


Visually inspect the windscreen directly in front of the driver. Any damage or obstructions larger than 10mm will result in a failed MOT test. Outside the driver’s direct windscreen view, there cannot be damage larger than 40mm.


Windscreen wipers must function properly with sufficient screen wash levels. Don’t let low fluid levels ruin your test!


All mirrors must be undamaged, secure, and provide clear views of the rear and sides of the car.






Fuel and Engine Oil


Top off your car with enough fuel and engine oil – you can be automatically failed for being too low on either.


Choose the right engine oil for your car. For more information, read our blog post here or contact your manufacturer.




Make sure the battery is secure and not leaking any acid. A white, powdery residue is a sure sign of leaky battery – grounds for failure of an MOT test.




The MOT will also check internal systems. Those include:


  • Braking systems


  • Speedometer


  • Drive Shafts


  • Suspension and shock absorbers


  • Steering components


  • Vehicle emissions



Some of our other blog posts include warning signs to check these systems (read about brakes here). If you believe there are issues with any of the above systems in your car, stop by your local mechanic before the car MOT test to get them checked out.




Visual checks alone cannot fully prepare you for the MOT test. To test for faults on battery condition, engine quality, car emissions, and more – run a scan with your Engie App! [ Google Play Store / Apple App Store ]


We hope we explained well what is a mot test, and that this checklist helps prepare you for your next one. To see the officially MOT checklist that will be used to evaluate your vehicle, follow this link.


We cannot stress enough how important it is to check your car before arriving for your test. Taking 10 minutes now can save you money and help avoid the hassle of last-minute repairs and retesting!



Good luck with your car MOT test, we’re rooting for you!


The Engie Team

Stay home and Stay safe!