An MOT is a legal requirement for all vehicles three years after they were first registered, and then every year after that. It’s the one thing you have to do – but more than 1.5 million motorists forget to take their car for its annual MOT.
Preparing for the MOT
- Headlights and indicators – Check that all of your car’s lights function properly – headlights, sidelights, rear lights, hazard lights and indicators.
- Brake lights – Press the brake pedal and ask a friend to check that the rear brake light comes on – including any supplementary brake strip light. Alternatively, carefully reverse up to a reflective surface (window, wall or garage door) and look behind to see for yourself.
- Number plate – Make sure that the number plate is clean and legible – even a quick wipe with a cloth can make a difference. The front and spacing of letters must also comply with legal requirements to be passed by the MOT station.
- Horn – Give a short blast of the horn – if it doesn’t work, your dealer will need to repair or replace it.
- Seats and seatbelts – The driver’s seat should adjust forwards and backwards and all seatbelts should be in good, working order. Test movement of the seat and inspect the seatbelt’s full length for damage. Tug sharply on all seatbelts to check that they react as they’re supposed to if you have to brake severely.
- Windscreen – Check the view out of the front of the car for damange – any damage larger than 40mm will cause a ‘fail’, as will any damage wider than 10mm in the ‘swept’ area of the windscreen in front of the driver.
- Windscreen wipers – Make sure your wipers are able to keep your windscreen clean – any tears or holes in the wiper rubber can be an MOT fail.
- Screenwash – Top up the washer bottle before taking the car in for a test – something as simple as an empty container can cause an MOT fail.
- Wheels and tyres – Check that wheels and tyres are undamaged. The minimum legal tyre tread depth is 1.6mm and any tyres with less than this will be marked as an MOT ‘fail’ (though it is recommended that tyres are changed when tread reaches 3mm). If you’re in doubt about how much tread is left on a tyre, your local Suzuki Service Centre can check for you. The dealer can also advise on the type of tyre that is right for your car if a replacement is required.
- Fuel and engine oil – Make sure your car is filled with enough fuel and engine oil – you can be turned away from the MOT without suitable levels of either, both of which are required by the dealership when running the car to test the emissions levels. If you are unsure about the type of oil that should be used, ask your manufacturer main dealer.