MOT Checklist | What is Checked During an MOT?

13 August 2021 / autocentrechorley

Once a car is three years old, it must undergo an MOT test each year to check it meets road safety and environmental standards. In this guide, we’re going to be looking at exactly what an MOT is and what is included in each test.

What is an MOT?

An MOT test is an annual comprehensive check of a motor vehicle for vehicle safety, road worthiness and exhaust emissions to ensure a vehicle meets the legal standards. MOT tests are carried out to DVSA guidelines and are performed by qualified nominated testers at a DVSA regulated MOT test centre such as Autocentre Chorley.

What Does an MOT Check Include?

Lamps, Reflectors and Electrical Equipment


Your vehicle’s front, rear, brake, fog, indicator, rear reflectors and registration plate lights must:

  • Be positioned correctly and securely

  • Not be obscured

  • Be in a good condition e.g. not cracked or broken

  • Be an acceptable colour (a slight blue tinge to front headlights is accepted so long as the predominant colour is white)

  • Not be adversely affected by the operation of any other light

  • Illuminate with a single operation of the switch

  • Be aligned correctly so that the dip beam and main beam are aimed below the horizontal so as not to dazzle other drivers.


The horn must be able to emit a continuous uniform note and should be loud enough to be heard by another road user.


The battery must be secure and not display any signs of leaking electrolytes.

Electrical Wiring

The electrical wiring should be secure and mustn't be damaged to an extent where there is a risk of a short circuit or becoming detached.

Vehicles with Towbars

If your vehicle has a towbar, the electrical socket will be checked to ensure it is in a good condition and operates the trailer parking lights, brake lights, indicators and rear fog lights correctly

Steering and Suspension


Your steering wheel must be secure and in a good enough condition. This will be tested by turning the wheel in a number of directions and inspecting each component for any wear or damage. If your wheel has a locking device, the tester will check to make sure it only locks when the engine isn’t running. 

If your vehicle has power steering, it must also have at least the minimum level of power steering fluid in the reservoir.


The tester will check all suspension components and shock absorbers for any excessive corrosion, distortion and fractures.


Your brakes, pedals and lever will be checked to ensure they are in a good enough condition and any relevant warning lights must be working properly. A brake performance test will also be carried out to check brake efficiency.

Tyres and Road Wheels

In order for your car to pass its MOT, your tyres must be of an appropriate speed and load rating for your vehicle. Tread depth must be at least 1.6 and must not have any cuts in excess of 25mm, lumps, bulges, tears, exposure to the cord or tread separation. Road wheel must also be in good condition with all wheel nuts tightly secured.

If your vehicle has run-flat tyres, the warning light will be checked to ensure it works properly.


All seatbelts must be the correct length and working correctly.

Body, Structure and General Items


The tester will conduct a general inspection of the body, chassis, engine mountings, seats, bonnet, boot and doors to ensure they are free from excessive corrosion and do not have any sharp edges which could result in injury.

Registration Plates

Your registration plates must be fitted at the front and rear of the vehicle and must be secure and clearly legible to someone who is standing 20 metres away with correctly formed and spaced characters.

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

Every vehicle must have their vehicle identification number permanently displayed either on a VIN plate or etched on the body/chassis.


You must have a speedometer fitted which illuminates properly. Cracked glass isn’t a problem so long as you can still read the speed easily.

Exhaust, Fuel and Emissions

Exhaust System

Your exhaust system will be checked to ensure it is secure and doesn't have any leaks. The tester will also check to see if your catalytic converter is still present if your vehicle was originally fitted with one.


The tester will check to ensure your vehicle's carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions fall within the legal limits by using a gas analyser probe whilst the engine is running. This checks the smoke being emitted from the exhaust. They'll also keep an eye out for any excessive smoke of any colour which could potentially result in an MOT failure.

Driver’s Views of the Road

Mirrors and Wipers

The rear view and wing mirrors must be secure and provide an adequate view to the rear and side for the driver. Wipers and washers must also wipe a wide enough area in order to give the driver a clear view of the road.


There must not be any damage or obstruction to the view of the driver in the area of the windscreen directly in front that is larger than 10mm. Outside of this area, there mustn't be any damage that is larger than 40mm.

How Long Does an MOT Take?

Typically, an MOT test will take between 45 minutes and an hour, however, due to COVID-19, we are currently taking additional precautions to reduce the spread and risk, meaning it may take up to 2 hours to complete an MOT.

Book an MOT with Autocentre Chorley

At Autocentre Chorley we are able to offer online MOT booking 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for your MOT in Chorley. Book your MOT online today or call us on 01257 269 298 if you want to talk to our friendly staff about the MOT services we provide in Chorley.




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Autocentre Ltd Chorley, Friday Street, Chorley, Lancashire PR6 0AA
01257 269 298

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