What does a garage look at during an MOT test?

Components tested during your MOT test:
for cars...

Vehicle identification number - a vehicle identification number must be permanently displayed and legible on a vehicle first used on or after 1 August 1980

Registration plate - condition, security, legibility and format of letters/numbers

Lights - condition, operation, security and correct colour. The headlamps will also be checked to see if the aim is correct
Steering and suspension - correct condition and operation

Wipers and washers
- operate to give the driver a clear view of the road

Windscreen - condition and drivers view of the road

Horn - correct operation and type

Seatbelts - all seatbelts installed are checked for type, condition, operation and security. All compulsory seatbelts must be in place

Seats - front seats secure. Front and rear backseats can be secured in the upright position

Fuel system - no leaks, fuel cap fastens correctly and seals securely. The fuel cap will need to be opened. Make sure the key is available

Exhaust emissions
- vehicle meets the requirement for exhaust emission. These vary on the age and fuel type of the vehicle

Exhaust system - complete, secure, without serious leaks and silences effectively

Vehicle structure - free from excessive corrosion or damage in specific areas. No sharp edges

Doors - open and close. Latch securely in closed position. Front doors should open from inside and outside the vehicle. Rear doors may need to be opened to gain access to testable items

Mirrors - presence, condition and security

Wheels and tyres - condition, security, tyre size and type, and tread depth. Spare tyres are not tested

Brakes - condition, operation and performance (efficiency test). Suitable vehicles will be tested on a roller brake tester. Vehicles such as those with permanent 4-wheel drive will be tested either on a suitable road using a properly calibrated and maintained decelerometer or, if one is installed at the test station, a plate brake tester

for motorcycles...

Lights - condition, operation, security, and correct colour of headlamp(s), rear lights, indicators and reflectors. Also the headlamp(s) will be checked to see if the aim is correct

Steering and suspension
- condition, security and operation including: forks, mountings, controls, bearings, etc

Horn - correct operation and the right type

Exhaust system
- complete, secure, correct type and not too noisy

Side car - includes checks on: attachment, suspension, wheel bearings, wheel alignment, lights and tyres

Wheel alignment
- correct alignment of front and rear wheels

Frame - free from cracks, damage, distortion or corrosion which is likely to affect steering or brakes

Wheels and tyres
- wheel condition and security, tyre condition, size and type, and tread depth

Brakes - condition, operation and performance (efficiency test),and brake controls

General items - condition and security of final drive, footrests and seat

Vehicles adapted with hand controls

Any hand controls fitted to your vehicle will not normally be tested during a standard MOT unless they are the only means of control. You should ensure your hand controls are regularly maintained and checked by a reputable garage, the hand control manufacturer or the adaptation specialist.

Tinted Windows

Tinted windows are not included in the MOT test, but the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) have started roadside checks to make sure tinted windows follow the Road Vehicle (Construction & Use) Regulations. These specify the minimum levels of light that must pass through the windscreen and front side windows. VOSA has produced an information leaflet on window tints which answers such questions as:
  1. What is excessively tinted glass?
  2. Legally where do I stand?
  3. Why are tinted windows not included in the MOT test?
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