Tips for ensuring you pass first time

Information about getting an MOT

As an owner of a vehicle for personal or commercial use, it is your legal responsibility to ensure an annual MOT inspection is carried out.

You’ll need to take your car into a centre for its first MOT once the vehicle is three years old, and then every year going forward after that. Before making your booking, which should take place one month before your current MOT certificate expires, you should take into consideration the age and condition of your car.

Nearly 40 per cent of cars will fail MOTs the first time, but in many cases, the reason for failure are preventable. You need to look at reasons for common failure (e.g. check your lights, the suspension and the brakes) and put right any issues you discover either yourself or by instructing a professional mechanic. Some garages offering MOTs will be particularly harsh when carrying out the test so as to upsell you with expensive repairs, so make sure to avoid this at all costs by going to a reputable and independent service centre.

Tips for ensuring you pass first time

  • Given that 18 per cent of vehicles fail on account of broken lights, making sure these are in working order prior to taking your car in for MOT is essential. Have a friend or coworker help you test your indicators, head and tail lights, and your brake lights.

  • Suspension is another top cause of MOT failure - 12 per cent of vehicles failed a suspension check. You should ensure shock absorbers are in place - you can do this by applying pressure to each side of the car and seeing how quickly it springs back to a neutral position.

  • Ensure your tires are fully inflated - you can do this by using a tire pressure checker and measuring the results against the outlines in your car manual.  

  • Ensure your oil levels are safe prior to an MOT.

  • While it may be the case that only seven per cent of vehicles failed due to windscreen and windscreen wiper issues, these are also some of the easiest to check. Inspect your screen for cracks and make sure the front and rear wipers are fully operational and there’s no leakage of windscreen wiper fluid.

Ready to book your MOT? As a Local Authority garage, Oxford Direct Services offers independent and impartial MOTs for Class IV, V and VII vehicles (cars, minibuses and light commercial vehicles). With flexible opening hours, you can choose a range of convenient appointment times from as early as 7am and as late as 6:30 pm.