A Step by Step Guide on How to Pass Your MOT Test


It’s no secret that in recent years motoring has become significantly more expensive. In fact, the average price for a new car has increased by 38 per cent over the last decade at the same time the price for petrol and diesel has gradually risen by 20p each.

So, it’s obvious keeping our motoring costs down should be considered a priority of ours and despite the speculation, this is not a difficult task to manage.

In terms of your car’s fuel consumption, minor changes such as driving at a steadier speed, reducing rapid accelerations, braking softer and getting rid of any unnecessary items in the car are all effective ways to reduce consumption. Meanwhile, shopping around, fitting a black box, and paying a one-off premium — similar ways to reduce the cost of your insurance.

As for your MOT, how can these costs be reduced? Collated by Volkswagen dealership, Vindis, we explore how some simple steps can be the solution to avoiding those unnecessary MOT costs.

On the first attempt, two out of five cars fail their MOT. Although an MOT test costs, at the most, £54.85, the bill can grow quicker than Pinocchio’s nose when the mechanic begins to recognise faults within a vehicle.

With reference to What Car? Magazine, they suggest the five most common reasons for MOT failure are:

  • Not having screen wash topped up
  • The driver’s view is impeded by something on the windscreen
  • A light is out
  • The plates don’t fit within the DVLA guidelines e.g. wrong font or wrong spacing
  • The car is dirty on the inside or outside

These failings could easily be avoided simply by making the smallest adjustments to your vehicle. Here, we take a look at the various ways in which can help make your MOT test day a smooth experience and one which isn’t going to break the bank.

Struggling to be organised? Checkout this checklist

By creating a checklist of all possible things that your car will be examined for during its MOT, it will help ensure that nothing is accidentally missed or forgotten about.

Firstly, your car’s bonnet

Despite the dreaded fear of seeing what complicated mechanics are under your bonnet, it is not as difficult as it looks. Top up your oil so that it sits between the minimum and the maximum marker. Following this, top up your washer fluid bottle, your fuel tank, and your anti-freeze. It’s cheaper to do it yourself than paying a mechanic to do it for you!


Although having a grubby car will most likely not be the ultimate decider as to whether your car passes or fails the MOT, is it worth the risk still?

Of course not! So, make sure to get rid of any old food wrappers, water bottles and other unnecessary clutter. Following this, give it a hoover, before power washing it on the outside and on the underneath of the vehicle. What will take you an hour in cleaning will save you a re-test and a major inconvenience.

Don’t forget about the Tyres

Your tyres are the only attribute of your car that is continuously being affected by the road, therefore it’s no shock that ensuring your tyres are fit for purpose is crucial. Therefore, checking of your tyres will be particularly stringent during an MOT test.

Having a tread depth of more than 1.6mm is essential. You can do this with a tyre tread depth indicator or a 20p coin. Likewise, check the tyre for any bulges, cuts, or splits, alongside checking your tyre pressure is correct and it aligns with that of the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Lights: the brighter the better

Other features that need adding to the list; Hazards, indicators, break lights, and headlights (dipped and full beam). For the latter of the list we advise getting someone to help you, as you’ll not be able to them yourself.

Do you have any bulbs that have blown? If so, make sure to purchase a new one at your nearest reliable vehicle dealership before sending your car for its MOT.

Update: Warning lights check

2012 saw the introduction of any lit-up warning lights to the MOT procedure. If there are any dashboard lights appearing on your car, find out what they mean and get them resolved prior to your test.

No one wants a cracked windscreen…

Any cracks that exceed 40mm on any part of the windscreen or 10mm on the driver’s line of sight will be considered a fail.  Remember to remove any air fresheners or parking permits which could be considered to obstruct vision.