27th October 2021

What is checked in an MOT?

An MOT test is something that all drivers will be aware of in the UK. Standing for the Ministry of Transport test, it is a check carried out by a certified MOT centre to evaluate the overall health of your vehicle. Once a vehicle is over 3 years old, an MOT is compulsory each year. This ensures your vehicle is still safe to be driving around on the nation’s roads. A complete MOT history is also valuable when selling a vehicle.

Although you may know what an MOT is, you might not know what it actually involves. Finding out can be handy so you are better informed the next time yours is due.

But what is involved in a test like this?

Lights, reflectors and electricals

To begin with, the MOT test centre will check the vehicle’s rear, front, fog, brake, registration plate and indicator lights.

Your rear reflector lights will also be checked over at this stage too. This is to ensure they all work correctly, are in good condition and are in the right position. Your horn will also be checked to ensure it works and is loud enough for other drivers to hear. Alongside checking your battery, an MOT will also see the electrical wiring in your vehicle inspected for damage.

Suspension and steering

Your steering wheel will be inspected to make sure it is in good order and securely fitted. The tester will also make sure any locking devices for steering only engage when the engine is not running. The power steering reservoir will also be checked to ensure enough fluid is present. In terms of suspension, components like shock absorbers will be given a once over to check for damage.


It is no surprise to see that an MOT check sees brakes inspected thoroughly. The pedals and levers should be in good order, as should other individual components of the whole braking system. As well as a visual inspection, testers will normally carry out a brake performance test.


MOT tests will also take a look at your tyres to ensure the load rating and speed are correct for your vehicle. In addition, all tyres should be in good condition and the wheel nuts should be firmly in place. This part of the MOT will also check that the tread depth is within legal limits and will look at each tyre for bulges, tears or flatness.

Seat belts

A key safety feature in all vehicles, MOTs always check seat belts. This includes all belts in a vehicle plus any attachment/adjustment fittings. Testers will also check if the belts are of the correct length and in good condition.


As part of the overall MOT, an inspection of the chassis, bodywork, bonnet, engine mounting, doors, seats and boot will happen. At this point, your number plate will also be checked to ensure it is clearly visible from 20 metres away. Your vehicle will also be checked to see it has a working speedometer and a valid VIN number on the body/chassis/vehicle.

Fuel, exhaust and emissions

This is one of the most important parts of modern MOTs because it helps protect the environment. Testers will make sure your exhaust system is free from leaks and that a catalytic converter (if originally fitted) is present. Your vehicle will also be tested to see that its carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions are within legal parameters.

Mirrors and windscreen

MOTs will check that rearview and wing mirrors give a proper view of the road. Wipers will also be tested to make sure they sweep a large enough area to enable drivers to see the road ahead. In terms of the windscreen itself, an MOT will check that there is no obstruction to the driver’s direct frontal view bigger than 10mm. For other areas of the windscreen, the damage must be no bigger than 40mm.

Book your next MOT with John Delany Motors

Hopefully the above has given you some extra information to call on when your next MOT is due. If you need an MOT garage Stockport residents can trust, why not let John Delany Motors handle it all for you? As a registered MOT test centre in Stockport, we have the experience to ensure your vehicle is roadworthy. For help with MOTs and car servicing Stockport wide, call us on 0161 477 6266 today.