Every year your car has to get its annual MOT but what exactly do they test and check during one?

MOT - which stands for Ministry of Transport - was introduced by the government back in the 1960s as a way of testing of your vehicle met road safety and environmental standards.

Drivers will already know that it is a legal requirement to have an MOT and it's against the law if you drive without one - resulting in hefty fines and points on your licence. 

What does not get checked on an MOT?

This Is Wiltshire: Here are the checks they will and will not do during an MOT. ( Getty Images)Here are the checks they will and will not do during an MOT. ( Getty Images) (Image: Getty/Wirestock)

Often confused with a general service,  an MOT doesn’t check its general mechanical condition and doesn't assess the engine, clutch or gearbox.

Although they will assess the condition of the tyres fitted to your vehicle, any spare tyres are not assessed.
 
An MOT will also exclude any assessments of the condition of aftermarket accessories unless they fall within the main test components.

For example, an aftermarket exhaust will be checked and can affect the test's emissions components.


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Nearly half of MOT faults found during a test could have been avoided by carrying out simple maintenance, according to Halfords.

The experts recommend doing some pre-service checks including looking at lights, wiper blades and tyres before your test could not save you money, time and an MOT failure.

What do they check on an MOT?

Halfords has rounded up all the checks and tests you can expect from your annual MOT as well as the pre-service checks you should carry out beforehand.

For a quick and complete guide about getting an MOT, you can also visit the UK government website.

An MOT will assess your lamps, electrical equipment and reflectors.

In an MOT test, your vehicle's front, rear, brake, fog, indicator and registration plate lights and rear reflectors must be secure, in the right place and in good condition. 

This Is Wiltshire: An MOT can be confused with a general service but there are some differences. ( Getty Images)An MOT can be confused with a general service but there are some differences. ( Getty Images) (Image: Getty Images)

They should also not be obscured, show the correct colour, not be adversely affected by the operation of any other lights and turn on with a single operation of the switch.

Your horn, battery, electrical wiring and towbars will also be checked as part of your MOT.

Additionally, your vehicle's steering and suspension will also be examined for faults.

The mechanic will also assess the vehicle's windscreen, wipers, doors and mirrors as well as its boot and bonnet.


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A full check of its seatbelts, exhaust and fuel system will also be undertaken.

On top of this, the tyres and the vehicle's body and structure will be taken into account in the assessment. 

General items like registration plates, the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and Speedometer will also be considered.