How to ensure your car easily passes its MOT

Some people might say that MOTs were created by the devil himself, that they are there to trip you up into paying hundreds of pounds for things you didn’t even realise could go wrong on a car. Sometimes the garage calls to let you know you failed for a dodgy windshield wiper or you turn up to pick it up and find a lengthy list of tiny repairs that all add up to a big bill but if you cover the small issues you should ensure an easy pass.

To ensure your car passes its MOT you’ll require some foresight, preparation and perhaps spending a little money before you hand your vehicle over to the garage:

Top up the fluids

The Money Advice Service recommends you top up your screen wash, fill up with petrol and ensure your oil is within the correct levels. If these are below the recommended levels you could fail your MOT and maybe have to pay for a retest.

Clean up your registration plate

Very dirty registration plates could lead to a failed MOT as well as plates that are personalised and don’t follow DVLA rules – such as using the wrong typeface or spacing.

Take a look at your headlight bulbs

It’s important your lights are all in good working order, so check your front headlights (this means both the main beam and the dipped lights) as well as hazard lights and indicators. It might also be worth checking your brake lights are working correctly too. You can usually get these issues fixed and do the repair work yourself, which can save you money.

Check your tyres

People aren’t great when it comes to checking tyres on a regular basis, so can turn up to their MOT with illegal tyre that will cause the MOT to fail. The minimum legal tread for a tyre is a depth of 1.6mm and you can use a 20p to test the depth for yourself –heres a good tutorial to show you how.

Don’t ignore your windshield wipers

Look for any holes or tear in the rubber on your windshield wipers, because this could lead them to fail. Use your washer fluid to check how well your wipers are clearing water from your windscreen, if it doesn’t appear to be effective they might need replacing.

Beep your horn

People forget about their horn but if this isn’t working correctly the car won’t pass. Press the horn and ensure it is loud enough, this isn’t a job you can fix yourself so you can either get it repaired before or ask the garage conducting your MOT to fix the problem before they carry out their tests.


These are some of the most common issues that fail MOTs, which can be easily fixed yourself. With all these checks carried out and any minor repairs sorted you stand a better chance of passing your MOT so plan to check over your car a couple of weeks before you are booked into the garage to allow yourself enough time to get the work done and feel confident that when they call after handing it in it should be a positive experience.