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Want to pass your MOT first time?

Motoring is an expensive business (rising costs include things like driving lessons, vehicle insurance for young drivers, and cars themselves).

It is possible to keep some motoring costs low though e.g. driving more efficiently to save on fuel.  Additionally, if you can get your car through its MOT the first time, without a retest, then that’s a money-saver too.  In this piece, Vindis – a dealership for SEAT – offer some advice:

On the first MOT attempt, two out of five cars fail. Although an MOT test costs, at the most, £54.85, the bill can grow quicker than Pinocchio’s nose when the mechanic begins to recognise faults within a vehicle.

According to What Car? Magazine, the five most popular reasons for failing are:

  • Not having screen wash topped up
  • The drivers view is impeded by something on the windscreen
  • A light is out
  • The plates don’t fit within the DVLA guidelines e.g. wrong font or wrong spacing
  • The car is dirty on the inside or outside

In most cases, these problems can be quickly fixed and avoided. Here, we take a look at the various ways in which can help make your MOT test day a smooth experience and one which isn’t going to break the bank.

Do a checklist

By making a checklist before you send your vehicle to get an MOT, it will help ensure no crucial aspects that will be part of the MOT is missed prior to the test.

Underneath the bonnet

If you don’t know what you’re doing, opening your bonnet can be like opening a can of worms – so let’s discuss the stuff to look out for. Top up your oil so that it sits between the minimum and the maximum marker. Following this, top up your washer fluid bottle, your fuel tank, and your anti-freeze. It’s cheaper to do it yourself than paying a mechanic to do it for you!

Trusty Tyres

Tyres are the only part of your vehicle in continual contact with the road, therefore it should come as no surprise that your tyres are very important in terms of safety. Therefore, checking of your tyres will be particularly stringent during an MOT test. #

Your tread should be more than 1.6mm. You can do this with a tyre tread depth indicator or a 20p coin. Likewise, check the tyre for any bulges, cuts, or splits, alongside checking your tyre pressure is correct and it aligns with that of the manufacturer’s guidelines.


If cracks are more than 10mm along the drivers view on the windscreen then this will be an automatic fail. In addition, any crack that is more than 40mm in any part of the windscreen will also result in a fail. Remember to remove any air fresheners or parking permits which could be considered to obstruct vision.

Don’t be dirty!

Do you really want to risk failing a MOT because you had a grubby car?

If it doesn’t need to be there, bin it! Get rid of any food wrappers, plastic bottles and other types of unnecessary clutter. Following this, give it a hoover, before power washing it on the outside and on the underneath of the vehicle. What will take you an hour in cleaning will save you a re-test and a major inconvenience.

Lights …

Make sure to check your headlights (full and dipped beam), brake lights, indicators and hazard lights. For the latter of the list we advise getting someone to help you, as you’ll not be able to them yourself.

Make sure to purchase a new bulb if any of them have blown. These can be from your local vehicle dealership or parts store.

Warning lights

As of 2012, any warning lights that are lit up will also result in a fail. If there are any dashboard lights appearing on your car, find out what they mean and get them resolved prior to your test.

An MOT can end up being an unnecessary expense but following these simple steps, you can make sure you don’t succumb to hefty charges on the day!

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