All lights are tested for OPERATION, CONDITION and SECURITY.
SIDELIGHTS and HEADLIGHTS
Are of the correct type.
Are correctly aimed (headlights).
Operate dip & full beam (headlights).
STOP LIGHTS, INDICATORS and HAZARD LIGHTS
Are of the correct type.
Do not interact with each other’s operation.
Indicator tell tale or audible warning works.
REAR FOG LIGHTS
Must be fitted to the centre or offside of the vehicle.
Tell tale must work.
Must not interact with other lights.
Must not be obscured.
Must be red.
NUMBER PLATE LIGHTS
All original lights must be present and working.
Two reflectors must be fitted fairly symmetrically be secure and not obscured.
notes: stop lights, indicators and hazard lights must be fitted to vehicles used on or after 1st April 1986, but if fitted must be tested. Rear foglights must be fitted to all vehicles used on or after 1st April 1980.
Check that all of the lights are working, clean and the correct colour: headlights (white), rear lights (red), sidelights (white), brake lights (red), indicators (yellow), hazard lights (yellow) and lights for number plates (white).
TIP: If lights flicker when you tap them, the bulbs probably need tightening up or replacing.
In 2013 the test scheme was updated to include some of the newer technology seen in modern cars. Since then, points such as illuminated airbag lights have become a common failure item, so it is worth getting those checked out before the MOT.
Steering & Suspension
CHECKS UNDER THE BONNET
Upper Suspension Joints and any other suspension components which can be inspected from under the bonnet.
Security of steering rack or box and mountings.
Excessive play in steering rack or box.
Play in steering joints.
Any other parts of the steering system that can be seen from under the bonnet.
CHECKS UNDER THE VEHICLE
Front & Rear Suspension.
No split pins, nuts etc missing.
No bent or broken components.
Condition of road springs.
Condition of suspension joints for excessive play etc.
Shock absorbers for leakage & security.
Shock absorbers for damping action.
Excessive play in rack/steering joints under load test
Excessive lift/play in steering box.
Power steering for leaks etc.
Security of Rack/Box and mounting areas for corrosion or cracking.
Wheels and tyres for fouling vehicle body/hoses etc on lock to lock.
Condition of front and rear wheel bearings regarding play and noise.
Steering rack gaiters for splits, leakage, security etc.
Front outer C V boots for splits, leakage, security etc.
Metal/Rubber bushes for excess play or wear.
Locking or retaining devices.
Front drive shafts and C V joints (if applicable).
STEERING INSIDE THE CAR
Steering wheel in good condition.
Steering wheel securely attached to column.
Upper column bearings/bush for excess play.
Steering column for excess end float.
Clamping bolts checked for security.
Locking nuts and split pins.
Free play in steering.
Flexible couplings/universal joints for excess play.
INSIDE THE CAR
Antilock brake warning light (if fitted), is checked for operation and correct operating sequence.
Reserve travel on footbrake so that it does not reach the floor.
Excess wear of brake pedal rubber.
Correct operation of brake servo.
Parking brake for reserve travel so that it does not reach it’s end stop.
Parking brake mountings for corrosion and security.
UNDER THE BONNET
Master cylinder/servo checked for leaks under load Servo unit for correct operation.
Visible metal brake pipes for damage, corrosion, leakage or breakages.
UNDER THE VEHICLE
With load applied to footbrake.
All visible metal brake pipes for condition and corrosion.
Brake discs and drums checked for external condition and contamination.
Security and condition of backplates and caliper mounting devices.
Condition of brake pads (if visible).
Condition and operation of handbrake linkages and cables.
Leaks from brake compensator (if fitted).
BRAKE PERFORMANCE CHECK
The efficiency and balance of the front and rear brakes using a rolling road.
Wheels & Tyres
The reason for failure with respect to tyre wear is “The grooves of the tread pattern are not at least 1.6mm throughout a continuous band comprising the central three-quarters of the breadth of tread around the entire outer circumference of the tyre”.
Tyres on any axle must be matched with regard to type, size and structure.
Also general condition of tyres, condition of valves serious cuts, bulges or other damage.
Damage, distortion, cracks, distorted bead rim securely attached to vehicle, missing wheel nuts or studs.
The security of any externally fitted spare wheel or spare wheel carrier.
TIP:Tyres should have 1.6mm or more tread depth across 75% of their width.
You should also replace any tyres that are visibly damaged or deteriorated and check that the tyre pressure is correct.
TIP: If you don’t have a tyre gauge to test the tread use the edge of a 20p coin – if the rim around the edge of the coin is smaller than the tread level you’re OK!
Most vehicles after 1965 must have seatbelts. Irrespective of this requirement, all seat belts fitted to a vehicle are inspected for:
Security of seatbelt mountings and locking stalks.
Security and operation of locking/release mechanism.
Condition of webbing.
Operation of retraction mechanism.
notes: The inertia locking mechanism is not checked on some vehicles where the belt is attached to the seat the security of the seat to the vehicle would also be part of the seat belt check. With regard to the retraction mechanism it is allowed to manually feed the belt back in.
Chips or cracks in the windscreen directly in front of the driver, in the area swept by the wiper blades, are acceptable if they are less than 10mm in diameter. In the rest of the swept area up to 40mm damage is acceptable.
Official stickers (parking permits, tax disc etc) in the swept area in front of the driver will fail if they are more than 10mm in diameter (40mm elsewhere).
The windscreen needs to allow the driver a clear view of the road – if there are any chips over 10mm in size in the area directly above the steering wheel (top to bottom of the window), this is likely to cause an MOT failure. Elsewhere on the windscreen, the limit is 40mm.
Screenwash should be be topped up and working properly.
TIP: If the washer jet is a bit weak (and the screenwash tank is not empty) wiggle a pin in the nozzle to see if that clears it.
Part of the system missing will result in failure.
Support mountings are missing or broken.
This check is carried out using special equipment. The exact details will depend on the age and model of the vehicle.
Excessive smoke is a visual check. Diesel smoke is tested using a smoke meter.
WASHERS AND WIPERS
Extent of area swept by wipers.
Condition of wiper blades.
Wiper blades need to be clean, intact and to not leave smears on the screen which will obscure the driver’s view.
TIP: If your wipers have picked up a lot of grease from the road that’s smearing the window, give them a wipe over with some white vinegar.
Control is easily reached by driver.
Cannot be multi tone sequential type.
BODY CONDITION AND SECURITY
The body must not be so insecure or displaced that it could cause the loss of control of the vehicle when driven or cause a danger to other road users.
Make sure all doors and the bonnet can be opened and that they close again properly. Front doors need to be opened from both inside and outside. Back doors only need to be opened from the outside.
TIP: While you’re checking the bonnet, make sure that your oil, screenwash and brake fluid are topped up.
Corrosion is a complicated and wide ranging topic. It can be used as a reason for failure in many of the previous sections. A brief explanation follows:
A vehicle will fail for excessive corrosion in a ‘prescribed area’ ie within 30cms of various components such as brakes, steering, suspension, seat belt mounts etc. Also excessive corrosion not in a ‘prescribed area’ which is likely to adversely affect the vehicles steering or brakes. Excessive corrosion can mean a hole or significantly weakened structure.
The front seats must be secure.
All seat backs must be securable in the upright position.
Not all mirrors on all vehicles are subject to the test. This depends on the age of the vehicle but those which are must be:
Visible from the drivers seat.
Not distorted or damaged so as to seriously impair the driver’s view of the rear.
There must be at least two rearview mirrors or indirect vision devices (cameras) fitted with a clear view towards the rear of the vehicle. One of these must be fitted to the offside (driver’s side).
Any fuel leak or defect which will allow fuel to leak out will fail the test.
Fuel filler cap must fasten securely and seal must be in place and in good condition.
REGISTRATION PLATES & VIN NUMBERS
For any registered vehicle number plates must be:
Not faded dirty or obscured.
Be composed of correctly formed letters, correctly spaced.
VIN plates are required on all vehicles firstly used on or after 1st August 1980 and must be:
SITTING ON MACHINE
All controls, switches and horn
Front suspension, forks, handlebars and head bearings
AT THE FRONT OF THE MACHINE
Front lights and indicators
Front brake master cylinder (if fitted)
PLACE THE MACHINE ON ITS STAND AND RAISE FRONT WHEEL
Steering, front forks and head bearings
Front brake and wheel bearings
Wheel and tyre condition
LOWER FRONT WHEEL AND GO TO RIGHT SIDE OF VEHICLE
Frame, VIN, seat and foot rest
Final drive (if fitted to RHS of machine)
Rear wheel, tyre and brake
RAISE THE REAR WHEEL
Rear wheel, rear brake/components and tyre condition
Rear suspension and final drive
At the rear
Rear position lamp(s)/stop lamp(s)/reflectors and indicators
ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE MACHINE
Frame and foot rest
Final drive (if fitted to LHS of machine)
Rear wheel, tyre and brake
AT THE FRONT OF THE MACHINE
If a sidecar is fitted it will also be examined in a manner specified by VOSA with respect to Security, Suspension, Wheel Bearings and Wheel Alignment.