Pre MOT Checks You Can Do Yourself

9 Pre-MOT Checks That Can Save You Money

It’s not the MOT that breaks the bank, it’s the costs that can follow

Doing a few simple pre-MOT checks, like inspecting your bulbs and tyres, before your car MOT can help reduce the costs of getting your car through it. At P&D Automotive we want to help reduce your MOT costs and offer a very competitive service including 4 months 0% payment plans.

Information obtained from DVSA (2019 - 2020*) showed that very simple checks drivers could have done themselves prior to presenting their vehicle for test would have shown failure items before the test and would be easy to rectify beforehand.

These are the most common failure items:

  • Lights - 31.8%
  • Tyres and wheels - 10.4%
  • Visibility - 15.2%           
  • Brakes - 14.2%
  • Steering and suspension - 23.5%

This is our advice of the top 9 things you can check to save money on your MOT test costs:

  1. Check your tyres
    The legal minimum tyre tread depth for cars in the UK is 1.6mm, but you should never let them get this low. To check your tyres, place a 20p coin into the main tread grooves of your tyre. If the outer band of the coin is obscured when it is inserted, then your tread is legal. Also, check for cracking of the rubber, deformation or uneven tyre wear.
    Check tyre pressures;
    To do this, look up what they should be in your doorframe/fuel filler cap or manual and top them up at a fuel station if you do not have a pump at home. If you’re a little unsure then pop into us and we will be able to assist you.
  2. Check your mirrors, wipers and washers
    It’s important all of these are in good working order, so work your way around them making sure. Screenwashers must operate and clear the windscreen effectively with wipers being of satisfactory condition to do so. A quick visual check takes seconds.
  3. Check your lights
    Ask someone to stand outside the car while you go through all the indicators, brake lights, fog lights, main beam and dip beam. Don’t forget your rear lights and hazards too.
  4. Check your number plate AND BULBS !!!
    Make sure your registration plate is not broken, peeling or the characters obscured, especially check the bulbs as this is one of the biggest failures. A dirty number plate can be a fine too if the police spot you.
  5. Check your brakes
    Make sure both pedal and handbrake are working well, a visual check through the wheels could also offer information regarding the look of the pads and discs which may lead to a failure.
  6. Check your seat belts
    Inspect the operation of seat belts by pulling them sharply. If working, they should lock and allow no further movement until pressure is released. Don’t forget to do all of them!
  7. Check your dash lights
    Look for warning lights on your dash, Engine Management light, SRS/Airbag, ABS or Anti Pollution warning lights are a common MOT failure item.
  8. Check your windscreen
    Is the windscreen damaged with scratches, chips or cracks? Damage in the driver’s central view should be no larger than 10mm. In the whole of the swept area, it should be no larger than 40mm.
  9. Doors

        Make sure the doors can open from the inside.


Some MOT fails are more difficult for you to check than others, so we haven’t put those ones on this list. A light not working is fairly obvious, but not many people can tell if their steering or suspension isn’t working as it should.

Get in touch if we can assist further.