Your Questions Answered

The questions and answers in this section of relate to previous versions of the MOT manual and should not be relied on, as the law may have changed. Please ensure you check the relevant section of the current MOT manual, which can be found on this site.

Search Most popular question categories

MirrorsDocumentsRe-testsAirbagsBrakesExpired MOTTyresLightsBrake LightsRunning LightsHeadlampsSide LightsLight DeflectorsDashboard Lights IndicatorsExhausts

Search Questions

Daytime Running Lights

Q I am installing daytime runners on my car. Do they have to turn off completely when the headlights are turned on or can they be dimmed Most of the controllers I can find just dim them.

Name: Mark Wright

Dedicated daytime running lights

Daytime running lights DRL are purpose-made, low-wattage lights that can be fitted to a vehicle and used during the day to improve the visibility of a vehicle to other drivers as well as pedestrians, cyclists and other road users. They do not need to be operated manually as they automatically activate when the engine is started and turn off when the engine stops or when headlights are switched on at night.

DRL are necessarily bright to ensure they are visible in the daytime but not so bright that they will dazzle others. However they are too bright for night time use and are not intended to illuminate the road in the dark. If used at night they will cause dazzle and discomfort to others and so drivers should always switch to their position lamps or headlamps at night.


Research has shown that DRLs are likely to reduce multiple vehicle daytime accidents and fatalities by up to 6 once all vehicles are equipped. DRL are likely to result in a small increase in fuel consumption and CO emissions of around 0.5 but this is expected to be lower when LEDs are used in place of filament light sources.

Legislation and requirements:

Vehicle manufacturers must fit DRL to new types of passenger car and light goods vehicle car derived vans type approved to European vehicle requirements from February 20111 . In practice this means that any new model launched after this date, and many launched before, will be fitted with DRL. However, existing models on sale before this date without DRL fitted can continue to be sold and used indefinitely.

Similar requirements apply to large vehicles such as HGVs and buses from 7 August 2012. Motorcycles do not currently require DRL to be fitted, but most manufacturers voluntarily opt for an AHO Automatic Headlight On system to be installed as an alternative. Changes to European legislation will, in future permit manufacturers to fit DRL on their motorcycles.

DRL activate automatically when the engine is started and remain on unless the headlamps are switched on. They may however remain off in some low speed and stationary situations. In general all other lights should remain off when the DRL are on but for a limited period some vehicles may be available which automatically activate the rear position lamps at the same time as the DRL.

DRL may be combined with other lamps. For example some manufacturers use the same lamp for both the DRL and position lamp. In these cases the DRL automatically dims to function as a lower intensity position lamp when the headlamps are turned on. DRL placed close to direction indicators may also automatically dim when the direction indicator is active. This is to ensure that the direction indicator is not masked by the light from the DRL.

Retro-fitting DRL

There is no requirement to retro-fit DRL on vehicles not fitted with them as standard. If you decide to retro-fit DRL you should ensure they have been approved to the correct European legislation. This can be confirmed by checking that the approval mark embossed on the lamp contains the letters "RL", see figure 1.

Ideally retro-fitted DRL should be installed such that they activate automatically when the engine starts and switch off when headlamps are turned on. If this is not the case then you must ensure that you manually turn DRL off at night as they will cause dazzle and discomfort to others if used in low ambient lighting conditions.

DRL approval mark.

Use of other lamps during the daytime

Drivers of vehicles that are not fitted with DRL are not required to turn on their headlamps or position lamps during the day unless visibility is very poor. However some European member states do require some form of lighting during the day so if you travel abroad and do not have DRL fitted you may be obliged to drive with your headlamps on.

handbrake warning light

Q Is handbrake warning light an mot failure, Whilst stuck on

Name: John   Town: St Helens

Tested are electronic parking brake and electronic stability control warning lights the MOT test will also include checks of the following, where fitted;

Headlight main beam warning light

Electronic power steering warning light

Brake fluid level warning light

Tyre pressure monitoring system warning light

Airbag warning light

Seat belt pre-tensioner warning light

Steering suspension

this is a list of the lights that are tested the hand brake light is not included

Side Lights

Q Im getting a warning saying that side lights bulbs are faulty, but they are working fine. Would this be an mot failure

Name: Helen

No - as long as the side lights are working. The side light warning indicator is not part of the test.

If youve got one of these warning lights then it must now work correctly:
Electronic parking brake
Electronic stability control
Headlight main beam warning light
Electronic power steering warning light
Brake fluid level warning light
Seat belt pre-tensioner warning light

Broken lens

Q my back light casing has broken but the lights are in full working order. It is very expensive to repair and my MOT is due in a couple of weeks, will my car fail its MOT if i use lens repair tape for the time being until i can get a replacemnt

Name: kelly   Town: nottingham

As long as the light is not obscured, there are no sharp edges and all lights are of the correct colour i.e. brake lights must show a red light. No chinks of white light and the light must be as bright as with an unbroken lens. If you cannot satisfy these conditions then you will need a new lens.

Dashboard lights not working

Q Hi, my side and main beam dash lights dont seem to come onbulb blown probably but both lights function correctly on the car. Would this be an MOT fail Also Abs light goes on and off correctly at ignition but can periodically come on during driving. Would the MOT fail if the abs light comes on after a successful dashboard panel light check Many thanks, Martin

Name: Martin Richardson

The ABS, Airbag and Main Beam warning lights are tested. If the ABS light was to come on during the test the vehicle would fail

Backup brake lights

Q Mercedes MLs have a habit of the backup brake lights being used when the connection to the normal brake light has failed. The fog lamps are used as brake lights when this happens. Would this be a UK MOT failure when tested

Name: martin

As long as you have high intensity red lights that light up when the brake pedal is depressed and extinguish when released and they do not affect the normal light I.e. side/running lights


Q My rear fog light shows a slight white border as the lense has dropped, will this pass a mot

Name: Lee collins

The reasons a mandatory rear fog light would fail the MOT are:
a. missing, insecure, obviously incorrectly positioned or does not face to the rear
b. inoperative or less than 50 of the light sources illuminating
c. obscured so that less than 50 of the lamp illuminating surface is visible from the rear
d. not visible from a reasonable distance due to excessive damage, deterioration, or having products on the lens or light source
e. shows other than a steady red light to the rear
f. adversely affected by the operation of any other lamp.


Q I have recently bought a tail light for my motorcycle with integrated indicators, the indicators work great with orange LEDs, the running light is also fine with red LEDs. My only concern is the brake light, which when switched on emits a purple glow through the use of blue LEDs alongside the red running light. The company that provides this product says its fine and there should not be any problems. Will I pass an MOT with bright purple brakes Cheers


Name: Pro9   Town: Bury st edmunds

The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989 states the brake light should be red.

Old sidelights yellowing

Q My car has 3 different types of lights within the headlight:

Side lights

Dipped beam/main beam


Will my car fail an MOT if my sidelights have a yellow tint in terms of simply just older halogen bulb perfectly legal while my dipped beams are Philips white vision

Name: Dave

Slight discolouration of a white light is not reason to fail an MOT as long as they are not amber like the indicators.

Brake light cluster

Q On modern A8 led rear lights some of the led lights are not working on boot section of passenger side rear light cluster. The rest of the led lights are working fine. Will this pass or fail mot Thanks

Name: David Black

Any brake lights fitted must work. If its just some of the LEDs in a cluster then as ling as the brake light intensity is sufficient i.e. bright enough then it should pass

Daytime MOT

Q Can I modify a bike from standard specification to meet daylight mot or remove indicators headlight rear light just leaving brake lights, horn

Name: Jonathan ellis

Yes but you must remove them. You can get a daytime MOT for bikes where you can only use the bike during daylight hours. A daylight MOT would require a motorbike to have a horn and a rear registration plate

Tinted Headlights

Q Ive just tinted my motorbikes headlight when i boght the tint it said it was fully road legal unless dimming ur lights down then its illegal been past a few police on the road but havent been stopped its a sky blue tint but from my oppinion its not dimming light down just gives off a blue colour light will it pass mot

Name: Gregory   Town: Cardiff

You should not have anything that dims your headlights. If the tester thinks that the light is dimmer your vehicle will fail

Mot sidelight

Q My Japanese import pajero has failed an MoT because by default the corresponding front sidelight goes brighter when indicating The sidelight doesnt flash, just goes a little brighter. This is stated in the manual.

Name: Andy   Town: High peak

The mot test regarding sidelights or position lights as they are called require them to show a steady light any change in the intensity of the lights is a reason for failure

Q Hi, Im in the process of making a pit bike road legal offroad bike and Im just wondering if I need to fit indicators for when I get it registered. Ive read that its fine as long as its an offroad bike, but then it would only pass a daylight MOT and Id have to remove or tape over the front/rear lights or something and that I could ride the bike on the road just as long as its in daylight and no at night, is this true

Name: Ben   Town: Leeds

your bike has to have all lights or no lights, and it doesnt need a horn, mirrors or indicators either for a daylight mot. but it does need a full size number plate


Q Does a car require side lights to pass an MOT Can it pass with just dipped and full beam head lights

Name: Patrick

A car requires side lights to pass the MOT. Side lights are front position lamps. Obligatory front and rear position lamps are required by Regulations to be fitted to a vehicle to indicate its presence and width when viewed from the front or rear.

The only exceptions are vehicles that either dont have position lamps, or have lamps that are permanently disconnected and are only used during daylight hours and not used at times of seriously reduced visibility.

Dim side light

Q  My right hand side light is dim but the left is bright will this fail an mot test. The headlights are working fine but its just this one sidelight.

Name: Pauline

The dim sidelight must be at least 50 the brightness of the normal side light.

Retest Failure on different item

Q Hello. I taken my motorcycle in to main motorcycle dealers for its mot the mot guy failed it on the headlight not in line .They could not do it as it was 10 min job but they was closing for the day and didnt have time saying paper work. Time sheets to be filled in cleaning the work area they asked if I could bring it back the next day 40 mile round trip it ok its a nice bike ride so I gets there the next day the 1st mot guy not there its guy so He does a full mot after he fixed the light .the said its failed on the green neutral light on the clocks .now when you use the bike when its cold it works when bike warms up the light works part time .as I just got there and he starts right away when the 1st mot guy let the bike cool down so it worked for him NOW the 2and mot guy says its failed can they recheck the whole bike as I thought it would only be the item it failed on .also I had to pay a retest fee .which I think is disgusting as if I said the night before no fix the light I would have had no fee to pay and a new mot so me doing the 1st mot guy a favour I get screwed over . Can you advise me thank you Ian

Name: Iain

I would steer clear of this MOT garage in the future. Technically they have done nothing wrong. The MOT tester tests the vehicle at the time and if something doesnt work he fails it, irrespectively to and previous tests. A retest should only test items relating to the original fail. Nominated testers NTs can remove failure items when theyre repaired by selecting the Repaired button. So there was no need to redo the whole MOT test.

You can always complain if you think that the vehicle failed unfairly by clicking this link however they might say that the vehicle should have failed originally for the fault.

US import indicators

Q I have a 1974 US import which incorporates front position lights and indicators within the same amber housing, with separate bulbs. This is separate from the headlamp housing. So when the front position lights are on, the indicators flash an additional bulb within the same housing. Is this an MOT pass given the amber position lights

Name: Dan

As long the indicators all show an amber light and do not effect or are affected by any other lights. The precise position of direction indicators is not part of the inspection however they must be symmetrical.

Parking lights

Q Will it fail on parking light failure

Name: Mark kelly

Parking lights are not part of the MOT test. Side lights are however - if these are the same lights then they must function as side lights normally.

Brake light symmetry

Q I have red leds fitted to the back of my trike. The two O/S appear 100 but both of the N/S are between 25 and 60 effective

Surely only ONE bulb is needed at each side so what if 8 out of twelve dont light

Do I need to replace all four light units to have symmetry

Name: Dave Pearson

The light intensity must be at a sufficient level on both sides.

1.2 Stop Lamps

Reason for Rejection

a. missing, insecure, obviously incorrectly positioned or does not face to the rear

b. inoperative or less than 50 of the light sources illuminating

c. obscured so that less than 50 of the lamp illuminating surface is visible from the rear

d. not visible from a reasonable distance due to excessive damage, deterioration, or having products on the lens or light source

Note: The precise position of obligatory lamps is not part of the inspection, but check visually that the lamps are at about the same height and the same distance from each side of the vehicle

daytime lights

Q Do daytime lights need to work for the car to pass an MOT test

Name: Alan Humphries   Town: Inverness

Daytime running lights are not tested as part of the MOT test. However the lights must function normally at night if they are part of your headlights/side lights.

American Motorcycle lights

Q I have an US imported motorcycle on which the headlight and tailight are always on and there is no switch to turn them off, only a low and main beam. Also there is no side light fitted nor a switch for one. Will this pass

Name: John   Town: Bideford

Daytime running lights are not part of the test

Click here for more information

Fog Lights

Q Hi I am told that if I replace my current fog light with Daylight Driving Lights. My car will fail the MOT because the tester will treat them as fog lights. My car is an MG TF

Name: Robert   Town: Southport

Front fog lights are not part of the test

Vehicle Defect Form

Q i been stopped by police and been given a vehicle defect form, defects found where s001 fial to maintain obligatory lights. front passenger side main headlight light bulb went about 2 hours before i got stopped by the police. i been asked to get it re motd do i need to get the car remotd just because of the one main headlight bulb which i just changed now and its working. my car has mot till april 2013

Name: frais   Town: Leicester

No, the MOT is valid for the 12 months still. As long as the light is fixed then you are fine to drive the vehicle


Q I have a 57 plate zafira which has orange sidelights fitted will these pass an MOT

Name: Beanie

No. Side lights are front position lights. The MOT manual states that two front position lamps must be fitted, one on each side and show a steady white light to the front or yellow if incorporated in a yellow headlamp.

Hazard Lights

Q Hi, my hazard lights are working but the switch isnt lighting up when they are in use. Would this be an MOT failure

Name: Caroline

As long as the indicators show up. You must have some sort of tell-tale light showing that the lights are on

LED Sidelights

Q I have led lights for the sidelights, tail lights and the rear number plate on my 2006 Toyota corolla verso. All are working well with none flickering or inoperative. Would this be fine for the mot or would I need to refit the old halogen lamps for the test I would appreciate your help in this matter, thankyou.

Name: Callum Conn

As long as the lights are bright enough and/or not too bright and display the correct colour i.e. white not blue. The type of illumination is not tested only their function.

Roof mounted led light bars

Q Are high level, as in roof mounted led light bars legal
Do they need to be dippable as headlights or can the be switched separately

Name: Roger of Hastings

If they are switched separately to the headlights then they are not part of the MOT test. As long as they dont interfere with the normal lights Which being mounted on the roof would be highly unlikely

Battery warning light

Q I have just bought an old 03 Ford KA. The private seller pointed out to me that the battery warning light stays on...something to do with a faulty connection, if the connection is wiggled, the light goes out. He assured me this light wont affect the MOT, is this correct

Name: Nicola

The Battery warning light is not part of the test.

Brake lights are tested with the ignition on

Q With ignition on all 3 brake lights work fine, with key out only the top middle 1 works but this is an aftermarket light fitted into a hard top on my Ford ranger pickup via a relay to main battery. Is brake lights working with ignition off part of an MOT test schedule and maybe do I not have a fault

Name: Chris

Brake lights are tested with the ignition on

Fault codes

Q Seat Toledo. Seems to be storing fault codes, all lights are in working order but dash light for lights is on. Will it fail a mot.

Name: George

As long as the main beam dash light still functions properly there should not be a problem. Fault codes are not checked during the MOT test

Blue Dashboard on

Q Hi
We have a Daf 85 that has got add blue

Warning light on.

We have MOT on Monday and Dafs

Cannot look at until Tuesday

Is this an MOT Failure

Thanks Mark

Name: Mark Lewis

Warning lights are Red, yellow indicates upcoming servicing or system repair. The blue light is a either a settings indicator or a information symbol, showing that a system is on or is operating. Blue lights would not seem to be a warning and therefore not an MOT failure. It would depend on what system is being indicated and how critical this system is. An MOT test is a safety test and does not test the engine as part of the test.

Headlights always on

Q Can I check if it would be a problem for passing MOT test if my cars headlights stay on when the key is turned on in the ignition, they go off when the key is turned off

Name: Maurizio   Town: Perth

The headlights and sidelights must operate independently and must not affect each other adversely. They must also function for high/low beam. The headlights do not need to go off as part of an MOT test as long as they pass the above tests it will pass - but you will get an advisory notice on your certificate.

Headlights Always on

Q Can sidelights and/or headlights be wired to an ignition live ie not switched but always on and still pass an mot

Name: John   Town: Stoke

Both headlights and sidelights must operate independently and one must not adversely effect the other.

Brake pad warning light

Q the brake pad warning light has come on and the follow up message reads your brake pads are worn but you may drive on. will this cause an MOT failure

Name: Dave Green   Town: cockermouth

If the light is on and the brake pads are worn and the fluid level light comes on it will fail.

If its just the pad warning light then the car should pass.

Dont forget that if you drive with worn brake pads then they can score the discs and you might have to replace them also which increases the total bill no end

Full beam warning light

Q Good morning. My motorbike has a blue full beam warning light, although the light doesnt work. Dipped beam and full beam work fine, just that when the full beam is activated, the blue warning light for full beam does not come on. Would this be a test fail

Name: Anthony   Town: Manchester

There is no mention in the manual of any dash lights in the Motorbike MOT inspection manual except for indicators if fitted.

Mirror indicator light

Q indicator light on offside mirror not lighting. car did not pass nct.must have light fixed and go back for inspection. local mercedes garage said replacement mirror cover costs 230 euro. this is enormous cost plus cost of fitting. is it essential to have light fixed for road safety reasons

Name: Vincent Brennan   Town: Roscommon

The indicator is part of the test if it does not operate then you will fail the days of spending twenty pounds to get an indicator fixed are long gone but you might find a solution on the net if you put YOUTUBE MERCEDES MIRROR INDICATOR in google plenty of info there good look

DRL Lights

Q I have just fitted aftermarket DRL lights, with a wiring kit. Will it fail an MOT if DRL dont turn off when headlights are turned on just ive seen new cars that have them on with headlights on. Thanks

Name: s watson   Town: carlisle

DRLs are designed to make vehicles more visible during daylight hours and are now common on vehicles of testable age. DRLs themselves are not covered by the manual and are therefore not testable items.


Q My headlights dont turn off until ignition goes off. This means sidelights do not operate independently even though they all work . Probably comms unit . Will this fail an mot

Many thanks in advance

Name: Terry   Town: Watford

Both headlights and sidelights must operate independently and one must not adversely effect the other

American Vehicles

Q About my american ford mercury cougar XR7. The rear indicator lights are combined with the stop lights and as such flash red. When I press the brake and indicate at the same time the lights flash intermediate. That was their build, but is that a PASS or FAIL in the UK

Name: Black Bob   Town: Edinburgh

Your vehicle will Fail an entry from a previous question answered by the DVSA No They do not American imports often have dual function lamps, where the indicators may be incorporated with the position lamps or stop lamps. This aspect of the test is covered in Inspection Manual IM, under Section 1.4 Direction Indicators and Hazard Warning Lamps and 1.2 Stop Lamps. brbrSection 1.4 states that Vehicles first used before 1 September 1965 may have direction indicators incorporated with stop lamps, or combined with front or rear position lamps, in which case front indicators may be white and rear indicators red. Due to the age of the vehicle in question, it will fail the test unless the rear indicators are converted to amber. The legislative basis for this requirement is contained in the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989 amended.This is not the first time that our attention has been directed to red rear indicators on post1965 American vehicles with a clear MOT test history. As we dont know what condition this vehicle was presented in previously, theres no telling whether a tester has missed anything but two wrongs dont make a right the presenter has been lucky in previous years but will have to accept that these will fail the MOT test in future.American vehicles with red rear indicators, while not a common sight on British roads, are widespread enough that any tester not familiar with the requirements for direction indicators should be advised there is no exemption for any vehicle to have red rear indicators if it was first used on or after 1 September 1965.

Faulty Hazard lights

Q The rear hazard warning lights on my car only flash if the engine is running. If the engine is not running only the front and side lights flash the rear lights remain off. The indicators work properly whether or not the engine is running. Will it pass the MOT like this

Name: Sam   Town: St Albans

No you will fail the hazard lights have to work all round whether the engine is running or not

Daylight MOT stop light

Q Do you require a rear brake light if you only have a daylight mot

I have just received a 50 ticket from a policeman for not having one.

Name: Stuart   Town: Waltham Abbey

There is a link to the MOT manual at the end of statement which will take you to the page with it on

Stop lamps are not required to be fitted to vehicles used only during the hours of daylight, which are fitted with neither front nor rear position lamps, etc. See 1.1.A. LampsMOT_Number=1.2MOT_Section=lights

Motorcycle registration plate light

Q does a motorcycle require a white light as part of the tail light over reg plate for mot

Name: kyle   Town: newry

The registration plate light is not tested for the MOT Test but if the bike is used after lighting up time it is illegal not having one


Q front offside position lamp obscured more than 50 does this mean bulb needs replacing

Name: barry   Town: manchester

If the light from the offside light does not match the light on the nearside light the tester will normally fail you it is at the testers discretion whether to pass or fail you on this issue

Q i HAVE A 1974 CZ SCRAMBLER WITH PAPERS i WOULD LIKE A DAYTIME MOT . tHERE ARE NO LIGHTS ON THE BIKE WILL i REQUIRE A STOP LIGHT . And would a bulb horn mounted on the handle bars be acceptable .


Name: Paul Mcginley   Town: Glasgow

Changes to the law now mean the rubber bulb horn is unacceptable except on a motorcycle first used before 1 August 1973 the horn must now emit a continuous note when sounded. Small battery powered cycle horns are normally allowed if you have no lights stop lights are not tested

Daylight MOT

Q what does my bike need for a day time my bike has no lights

Name: neil    Town: newport

A daylight MOT would require a motorbike to have a horn and a rear registration plate.

The testing guidelines state that motorbikes can be exempt from having lamps tested if they meet the following criteria:-

machines which have neither front nor rear position lamps, or have such lamps permanently disconnected, painted over or masked that are:-
only used in daylight hours
not used in times of serious reduced visibility

The following items/lamps are not required to be tested in order for a MOT to pass a daylight MOT test as long as they meet the criteria above.

Front and Rear position lamps
Stop Lamps
Rear Reflectors
Direction Indicators

Tinted Headlights

Q can i tint my headlights with smoke tint spray if so how dark can i have it

Name: chris g   Town: wakefield

No you can not have any obstructions of any kind to headlight. If there is anything that dims the headlights, even slightly, it will fail

ABS Light

Q I have an amber airbag light on my 6n2 polo will it fail due to this light

Name: Aaron

Yes. The airbag light must extinguish after a short period once the ignition is turned on.

Rear Fog Lamp

Q ive got a 2015 dodge , does it need a fog light fitting, and the indicators bulbs changing to orange, also the rate of flashing indicators slowing down

Name: john pinchen

one rear fog lamp is required to be fitted to the centre or offside of vehicles first used on or after 1 April 1980. The light must show a steady red light

Running lights

Q would a car fail the mot if running lights are not workn

Name: johnny

Running lights are not part of the MOT unless they are part of your side lights/headlamps configuration

We and our third party partners use technology such as cookies on our site. This is to give you a better experience, analyse how you and other visitors use this website and show you relevant, tailored advertisements. By using this website you agree to the use of cookies. You can read our Cookies Policy using the link in the footer of this page.

Accept Cookies