Is your MOT due? This can be stressful for a motorist at any point in time as you will want your car to pass and hope that there are no costly repairs that are needed. Now we have the added complication of being under lockdown; Can we get our vehicles tested? Do we still need to? What if your vehicle is crucial for your job?
MOT and COVID-19
If your MOT expired on or before March 29th then you cannot legally drive or park your vehicle on the road unless you are driving it to be repaired or to a pre-arranged MOT test. So if this is you and you need your car try to get it MOT’ed immediately. You can check the latest information about MOT testing under the current restrictions direct from the UK government here.
From the 30th of March, all MOTs will automatically be extended by 6 months so you can safely wait to get your vehicle tested. But if your car needed an MOT before that date then there is no automatic extension. HOWEVER, you still have to ensure that your vehicle is in a roadworthy condition. So these pre MOT checks that we outline below are important for you to carry out. If your car or van needs attention then you can still take it to a garage to get urgent repairs attended to.
Why Pre MOT Checks Are Worthwhile
It is important to be aware that there are a few steps that you can take which will increase your chances of passing and ensuring some basic roadworthiness tests will be passed.
Here are the main things that you should check:
One of the quickest and easiest checks is to look over the windscreen wipers for any tears or holes – these could lead to an MOT fail but are easy enough to replace yourself.
Tyre Tread and Pressure
The minimum legal tyre tread depth is 1.6mm and it is important to stay on top of this not only from a legal standpoint and for your MOT but also for safety. You can check this by inserting a 20p coin into the tread – if you are unable to see the outer band then you are within legal limits.
Tyre pressure affects braking and steering so check your manual and check that your tyre pressure matches the recommendations. Remember to adjust for the heavy load changes. This is less important for your MOT but crucial for driving safely.
Brake & Headlights
All lights should be tested and cleaned prior to taking the car in for an MOT (you will need someone to help you with this).
Even something minor like an empty container of screen wash can lead to an MOT fail so it is always good practice to top this up before taking the car in.
The horn plays an important role and needs to be working at all times. This is the quickest and easiest check to make and, chances are, you would know if there was an issue but it is always important to check first.
Fuel & Engine Oil
You should always make sure that your car is filled with enough fuel and engine oil before taking it in for an MOT as you can be turned away without a suitable level of either as the car will be run during the test when assessing emission levels.
These are the things that you can check before taking a car in for an MOT but it is good practice to carry out maintenance throughout the year so that you can keep the vehicle in good condition. This is particularly valuable if the automobile is used for an important purpose, such as a wheelchair accessible vehicle from a specialist like Allied Mobility.
An MOT will always be stressful for any motorist but the above tips should give you every chance of succeeding and avoiding any expensive repairs.