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What Is an MOT? Why Is It Important to Have One?

When it comes to owning and driving a vehicle, car safety is a big concern for drivers. 

In the UK, all cars that are over three years old are required to pass an annual MOT test to show that they meet vital environmental and road safety standards. 

However, did you know that almost 40% of MOT tests fail on the first attempt? More often than not, this is due to minor faults that could have been easily fixed before the test. 

In this article, we will explore what an MOT is, why you need an MOT for your vehicle and their role in car safety.

Let’s begin!

What Is an MOT and Why Is It Important?

An MOT (Ministry of Transport) test is a maintenance check-up, carried out by a qualified mechanic at an MOT test centre to ensure your vehicle is running smoothly and safely. 

Introduced in 1960, the MOT has become a crucial part of running and maintaining a car in the UK. MOT tests evaluate key components of your vehicle to see if they’re in working order and limit the risk of injury or accident. 

The MOT also includes an emissions test to ensure your vehicle meets the environmental and safety standards set by the government. It is crucial for any vehicle over three years old to pass this test to prove that they are roadworthy.

What Does an MOT Test Cover?

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While every vehicle owner will need an MOT test conducted annually, many are not aware of the various parts involved in the test

The MOT test examines the minimum level of functioning to allow your vehicle to be safe on the road. However, it consists of more checks than you may think. These are split into four main categories: 

1) Internal Checks

Within your vehicle’s interior, an MOT consists of evaluating the proper functioning of lights and switches, the wipers, seats and seat belts, steering, mirrors, doors, the speedometer and even the horn. 

2) External Checks

Regarding the exterior of your vehicle, MOT inspectors will evaluate your indicators, plates and lamps. They will also closely examine your car’s bodywork, wheels and tyres. Your mirrors and wipers along with your windows, windscreen and doors will also be assessed. 

3) Under the Vehicle Checks

These parts require a thorough inspection as well. During an MOT, the inspector will look at your suspension, shock absorbers, brakes, wheel bearings, steering and drive shafts. Your vehicle’s exhaust and fuel system will be examined, as well as an evaluation of the overall condition of your vehicle. 

4) Under the Bonnet Checks

Lastly, the MOT inspector will take a look under the bonnet of your vehicle to check the battery and electrical wiring. They will also ensure that the actual bonnet secures safely too. 

With In Town Automotive, you can ensure that every part of your vehicle is in excellent condition and that every ride is a smooth one. Book your MOT today!

Simple Reasons Cars Fail Their MOT Tests

what do you need for an mot, two garage technicians working on car suspended above them

While you may have read our tips for passing your MOT blog, there are still many small things that, if overlooked, could prevent you from passing. Here are five reasons many cars fail their MOTs:

1) Screenwash Not Topped Up

While topping up the screen wash only takes a couple of minutes, it’s an important step that can get overlooked. Remember to get it done before taking your MOT test.

2) Dirty or Cluttered Car

Declutter the boot of your car and wipe down the windows and mirrors for good visibility.

3) Registration Plate Issues

Ensure your vehicle’s registration plate follows the DVLA rules and is clean and visible. If you have a personalised plate, make sure it has the correct typeface and spacing. 

4) Stickers on the Windscreen

Always check that any stickers, such as parking permits, are not blocking the driver’s view.

5) Dashboard Warning Lights

Lit-up dashboard warning lights have been a key component of the MOT test since 2012. As such, always make sure you know what these lights mean and you have addressed any issues before your MOT test.

How Long Does an MOT Take?

Typically, an MOT test takes between 45 and 60 minutes. However, there are other key factors you will need to consider.

Firstly, if your vehicle does not pass the MOT and repairs are needed, it may take longer. A test centre is not allowed to let you drive away a vehicle that has not passed the MOT until the problems have been fixed. 

Secondly, while the test may take an hour or less, even if you do not require any repairs, your vehicle may need to be at the garage for a longer time. 

Some test centres require you to drop off your vehicle in the morning and then collect it when it’s ready. As such, you need to be prepared to be without your vehicle for the entire day. 

When to Get an MOT

When your car is three years old from its registration date, you will need to take it for the first MOT test. After this, you will need an MOT retest every year on the anniversary of the previous MOT test. 

After passing the test, your car’s details will be updated online. If at any point you forget when your MOT runs out, you can check your MOT status here.

With new cars, they will need an MOT after their first three years. However, you will receive the relevant date and information upon purchasing your new vehicle.

For Hassle-Free MOT Testing, Contact In Town Automotive!

An MOT is a legal requirement that ensures your vehicle meets environmental and road safety standards to ensure it is safe to drive. 

If you are looking for an MOT testing centre for your vehicle, we can assist you.

At In Town Automotive, we provide comprehensive MOTs and essential car repairs to keep your vehicle in pristine condition. 

As an award-winning garage in Northampton, we offer a wide range of services regarding the repairing of exhausts, brakes, tyres, clutches and so much more!

With many years of experience in the auto repair industry, our technicians use their skills to enhance car functionality and optimise performance. 

If you want to learn more about us, visit our services page or contact us to book an appointment today!

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