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MOT Dartford - Every Car Needs One But What Is An MOT And Why Would My Car Fail?

The government, through the Ministry of Transport, ensures the safety of all road users. One of the ways this is achieved is ensuring that all vehicles meet the safety and roadworthy status before they are legally allowed to operate on the roads. The standard measure of roadworthiness of a vehicle is the MOT test.

What Is an MOT?

Simply put, MOT (which stands for Ministry of Transport) test is done to ascertain that your vehicle is safe for you and other road users. This is a comprehensive test ascertains that the vehicle complies with the set legal safety and environmental standards, and should be carried out only in authorized centers such as KC Servicing. Once your car has passed the test, you are given a MOT certification, which is valid for a year.

When to Get MOT

If your car has hit the 3 year old mark, it should be taken for the annual MOT test. Getting a standard MOT takes about an hour, although the exact time will depend on a range of factors. For starters, if the vehicle fails and minor repairs are required, then it may take a whole lot longer.

Here is the thing, a test center is not allowed to give back your car if the MOT test is a fail, until all the issues are sorted out. The only exception to this rule is if you have an existing valid MOT certificate, or if you are driving it to have those faults fixed. 

Normally, however, a test center may require you to drop off the car in the morning and have them work on it at their pace. This way, should the vehicle fail the MOT, they can repair all the faults and get t working right. It is advisable to prepare alternative transport means on the day you take your car for an MOT.

Common Reasons Why Vehicles Fail MOT

For vehicles undergoing the MOT test for the first time, it is almost certain that 2 out of five will fail. However, these fails are often due to small faults that the car owner could have fixed beforehand such as taking the car for regular maintenance. Top reasons why car fail MOTs include the following.

Dirty Car
  How long does it take to give your car a quick wash before the test? Well, if you do not give the mirrors and windows that quick wipe before the test, you are likely to is also advisable to free the car off clutter and top up the necessary fluids including screen wash.
An Issue with the Registration Plate
  Common issues include dirty, obscured license plates. If the plate is incorrectly written or spaced, is not visible or is missing altogether, it is a reason to fail the test. For those with personalized plates, it is essential to ensure that they comply with the current laws.
Windscreen Stickers
  We all love those stickers that say something funny, or something we believe in. However, if they are obscuring the driver’s view, it is cause for MOT fail. If you have to put stickers on the windscreen, place them outside the wipers’ sweep area. Such stickers include tax discs and parking permits.
Dashboard Warning Lights On
  The dashboard warning lights can indicate a lot of faults in the car. Therefore, if any dashboard warning light is on, you are likely to fail the MOT. Some of these warning lights include simple things such as low level of coolant, which you can refill before the test.

The dashboard warning lights can indicate a lot of faults in the car. Therefore, if any dashboard warning light is on, you are likely to fail the MOT. Some of these warning lights include simple things such as low level of coolant, which you can refill before the test.

If you want a quick MOT pass, be sure to check your car and fix the minor issues that you can. The internet is full of endless resources on what is checked during MOT test, so you can always be on guard.

What to Do To Ensure MOT Pass

There are a few things you can do to make your MOT test easier and pain free. You can easily fix most of these problem areas and have your car pass its MOT. However, if you cannot, it wouldn’t hurt to work with a professional mechanic to help you out. A quick checklist should include the following aspects.

All Lights
  Headlights both beam and dim, indicators, hazard lights, brake lights etc. Make sure they are all functional; be sure to replace broken bulbs.
  Ensure that your vehicle has the minimum legal thread depth (which is 1.6mm). Additionally, check for any damage such as cuts or bulges in the sidewalls or splits in the thread. Check the pressure and adjust if necessary.
The Interiors and Exterior
  Check all the seats, their seatbelts and fasteners for functionality. Check the windows, mirrors and windscreen for any cracks or damages that can obscure the driver’s view. Check the wipers and screen wash levels. Check the horn, shock absorbers, exhaust and engine oil as well as fuel combustion which determines emission levels.

What Happens When Your Car Fails the MOT?

You will be given a VT30 certificate which clearly indicates reasons why the car failed the test. You will be required to fix the said errors and have a partial MOT done and passed before you are allowed to drive it again. The retest time is usually set at a maximum of 10 days.


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