How to pass an MOT test first time – the key things DVSA look out for on your car

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How to pass an MOT test first time - the key things DVSA look out for on your car 1

MOT test requirements were overhauled to introduce stricter policies aimed at increasing road safety. However, DVSA data released late last year revealed the new stricter MOT tests had dramatically caught out road users 12 months after they were first introduced. 

The data showed almost a third of cars, vans and motorcyclists failed their MOT test because of car defects across the first year.

Over three million cars were given the new “dangerous” score over the first 12 months as extra motoring functions were put through their paces for the first time. 

The new laws introduced stricter guidelines for tyres, headlights and braking functions to ensure all cars on Britain’s roads were as safe as possible. 

Tougher carbon emissions tests were also revealed with cars likely to fail if they do not meet the minimum requirements. 

READ MORE: MOT check: DVSA says motorists can save money on car repair bills

Car functions 

Tougher checks have been introduced on several of the most important car functions under the new MOT regulations. 

Vehicles are likely to fail their MOT test if they do not have a working brake pad warning light or mechanics notice a brake pad is missing from the car. 

Under-inflated tyres will also cause a car to fail while contaminated brake fluid or leaks which could pose an environmental risk will also be punished. 

What key features are checked in an MOT?

According to Halfords, one-third of all MOT faults are related to lighting and signalling issues. 

The test will also make sure all brake lights are correctly positioned and emit the correct light. 

MOT mechanics will assess the strength and condition of the vehicle’s steering wheel which will be thoroughly inspected for any major wear and tear. 


A car’s suspension and shock absorbers will also be checked for any major corrosion, dents or fractures. 

The overall view of the road is taken into account with damage to the car’s windscreen or mirrors likely to see the car fail its test. 

Tyre tread depth must be above 1.6mm as poor rubber could put yourself and other road users at risk of having an accident. 

How to make sure you pass the MOT test first time

Failing an MOT test means your vehicle is no longer road legal and must not be driven without the threat of facing fines or penalties. 

Passing a test will often require expensive car repair bills which can set motorists back vast sums of money. 

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