A Complete Guide to the MOT Checklist

A Complete Guide to MOT Checklist


The MOT is a roadworthiness check that all cars on the UK’s roads must undertake annually from when they are three years old (four, in the case of Ireland). It was implemented in an attempt – largely successful – to reduce the amount and severity of accidents on the UK’s roads.

Having a valid MOT certification has become essential for every vehicle in the UK whether it is travelling to London or any other metropolitan city. Let us take a look at the sort of things it covers, and if you are looking for a car insurance check if the policy covers MOT too.

A Complete Guide to the MOT Checklist

Interior of the Car

Interior of the Car

The inspector will sit in the driver’s seat of the car and check that the mirrors are in place and properly sighted. They will check the steering wheel for excess play, make sure the seats are in good order, and that seat belts, if fitted, are in good working order.

They also check the various switches found on the dashboard work as intended, and try out the indicators, the horn and make sure the speedometer is working properly. A clear view all around the car, especially in front, is essential.

An excessively cluttered car could earn you a failure, and if the car is too dirty for the inspector, he or she can refuse to continue the test at this point. MOT is essential for every car, it is good to get a certificate while buying a new car.

Under the Hood

Popping open the bonnet, the inspector will visually trace the exhaust system, the brakes, and the parts of the steering and suspensions systems that can be seen from this vantage point, as well as check the general structure of the car.

The exterior of the Car

Walking around the car and examining it closely, the inspector is now looking for the general condition of the car (no rust, no large dents, no visible damage that might indicate a problem underneath). They will also check the wheels and tyres, ensure the lights are in good condition and working well, and they will make sure that the headlights are pointing in a direction that is useful to the driver.

The doors, boot and bonnet are all checked to make sure they close tightly, yet can be easily opened, and that the mirrors and windows are all present, made from the right glass (tinted glass is often a no-no), with no chips or cracks.

The tow bar, if present, is checked to make sure it is properly fitted and suitable for the task, and the number plate is checked to make sure it is clean and firmly and appropriately attached to the vehicle. If your MOT is due and you are not sure where to book your MOT from in London, experts at DAT Tyres will help you with professional services.


The emissions test is quickly done: a device is fitted to the exhaust while the engine runs for a set period of time, and the results are delivered to the inspector’s screen.

The levels of harmful pollutants must be below a certain level, the vehicle must not emit visible exhaust, and the car’s catalytic converter should not show any signs of tampering or interference that might offer a falsely low reading.

Under the Chassis

Under the Chassis

Putting your car over the pit, the inspector uses a torch to examine the underside of your car. At this point, the suspension, steering and brake system checks are completed, the inside of the wheels and the wheel housings are checked, and the brake pads are carefully assessed.

The fuel tank and its links to the engine are checked carefully, and the general condition of the vehicle’s structure is examined.



As well as eyeballing the braking system, and looking for flaws and faults from the pedal to the brake pad, the inspector tests the brakes.

The service brake (this is the ‘normal’ brake, operated by a foot pedal) and the handbrake are put through their paces, ensuring that you will be able to perform an emergency stop, a handbrake stop, and come to a gentle standstill on demand.

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