5 Quick checks to avoid MOT retest fee

5 Quick checks to avoid MOT retest fee


A reliable MOT garage will often offer a pre –examination of your vehicle prior to your MOT taking place, but there is plenty you can do at home, to help your car sail through the test.


The main failures in MOTs are a result of simple issues, which are easy to put right before taking your vehicle to your local MOT garage.

Walk around and check each light

Nearly 30% of MOT failures happen because there is a headlight bulb out, or that the aim of the headlight is incorrect. Whilst testing the position of your headlights may not be straight forward, if you notice a bulb is out, this is something that can be easily changed by yourself or your local garage. The same goes for brake lights and the registration plate lamp, take the time to walk around your car and test that all bulbs are working.

Check each of your tyres for wear and tear

Tyre condition and tread account for over 25% of MOT failures. Run your eyes over your tyres and check for obvious signs of damage and wear, the law requires tread to be at 1.6mm.

Other areas checked during an MOT are a little harder to check yourself, such as the brakes and suspension, and require a professional MOT test centre to carry out the tests. Incorrect tyre pressures or tracking can cause uneven wear, so ensure you check the inside of the tyre too.

Clean and assess your mirrors and plates

Check your rear view mirror and wing mirrors are in a clean and undamaged condition.  Don’t forget to check and clean your registration plates too.

Beep your horn

A horn that does not work will cause you to fail your MOT, make sure you test it – at a reasonable hour!

Check your wiper blades and washer fluid

Change wiper blades if they are worn and check fluid levels such as screen wash. Top them up as required.

Steve Spooner owner of Bromley Car Repairs, an MOT garage in Bromley commented:

“Too often people bring their vehicles to us for an MOT test under prepared, resulting in failure for something that could have been easily rectified at home or during a pre-MOT check, such as a headlight being out. If you don’t feel confident to make these checks yourself, your local MOT garage will always be happy to help.”

It may seem like the easy option to simply book and enter your vehicle into an MOT, but by taking some time to check your car and make simple fixes, you will likely save both time and money.