Around a third of cars fail their MOT in Britain each year, follow this checklist and you may avoid some of the simple fails
Around one third of the 30m cars tested each year fail their MOT inspection. The majority of these are due to a small number of defects. Some problems you can fix before the test, others can be dealt with by a mechanic before the MOT starts (MOT inspectors are not allowed to correct any faults during the test). Knowing what needs doing to your car for it to pass its MOT also means that you can shop around and get the best quote.
Windscreen wipers should not be damaged or worn and they must be able to clear the screen efficiently. You can buy new wipers and replace them yourself or get this done cheaply at most car stores. Ensure the washer bottle is full and check for chips and cracks in the windscreen. In an area in front of the driver a chip cannot be bigger than 1cm, in other areas swept by the wipers that damage cannot be over 4cm.
Make sure all tyres are inflated to the correct pressure. You can do this at most petrol stations and you can find the correct pressure in your manual. There also needs to be at least 1.6mm of tread across three-quarters of the tyre. Ensure there are no cuts, lumps of bulges on the tyre. See the Tyre Industry Council’s tips at tinyurl.com/tyretips.
Make sure all the lights, including the rear registration light (which can be hard to see in daylight), are working correctly. Check that the lens and/or casings are not cracked or damaged.
All seatbelts must be in good condition and working. Dog owners beware: a surprising number of cars fail due to seatbelts that have been chewed by man’s best friend.
These must be securely fastened and clearly readable. No letters or numbers should be obscured and they should be the correct size and spacing. The DVLA provides details of what is, and is not acceptable, more DVLA number plate info here and DVLA registrations here.