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Essential Pre-MOT Checklist: How to Prepare Your Vehicle for a Successful MOT Test

Facing an MOT test can be a bit nerve-wracking for any vehicle owner. After all, this annual inspection is crucial for ensuring your vehicle meets the necessary safety and environmental standards set by the government. At ECF Car Care, we understand how important it is for your vehicle to pass its MOT test with flying colours. That’s why we’ve put together this essential pre-MOT checklist to help you prepare your vehicle for the big day to minimise its chance of an MOT fail.

Lights and Indicators Check

The first and easiest step is to ensure that all your vehicle’s lights are in full working order. This includes headlights, sidelights, rear lights, fog lights, number plate lights, hazard lights, and indicators. Faulty lights are a common reason for MOT failures, so replace any blown bulbs or repair any faulty connections before your MOT test.

Tyre Inspection

Tyres are your vehicle’s only contact with the road, making their condition so important for your safety and other road users. Check that your tyres meet the minimum tread depth of 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre and around the entire circumference. Also, look for any signs of severe wear, such as cuts, bulges, deterioration, or other damage. Ensuring your tyres are correctly inflated according to the manufacturer’s recommendations can also help you avoid a failed MOT, this information is often found on the door seal of the drivers door.

Wiper Blades and Windscreen

Visibility is key when it comes to safe driving, so make sure your wiper blades are fully functional and do not leave streaks on the windscreen. Your vehicle may also fail if the windscreen washers do not work, ensure these are all functioning correctly prior to the MOT. Additionally, inspect your windscreen for any cracks or significant chips, especially in the driver’s line of sight, as this could result in a failure. Similarly, if you have any air fresheners hanging from your windscreen, we suggest you remove these for the MOT test as they too could become an MOT fail.

Brakes Performance

Brakes are perhaps the most critical safety feature of your vehicle, so it’s vital to ensure they are working correctly. Listen for any strange noises when applying the brakes. If you hear any squeaking or feel unusual vibrations, it may be wise to get them checked out by a professional at ECF Car Care before your MOT test. Also, check the brake fluid levels and top them up if necessary.

Seatbelts and Seats

Inspect all seatbelts to ensure they fasten securely and check the fabric for any tears or excessive wear. Test the seat adjustment mechanisms too, making sure all seats can be securely locked into a safe position for the driver.

Fluid Levels

Low levels of essential fluids can be grounds for MOT failure. Check your oil, coolant, and windscreen wash fluid levels, topping them up if they’re below the recommended levels. These fluids are vital for the proper functioning of your vehicle and can be easily topped up at home or if you are unsure, contact ECF Car Care and we can advise or help you in any way.

Exhaust System

Listen to your exhaust system; if it’s noisy, it might have a leak, which is a common MOT failure point. Make sure it’s securely attached and not showing signs of excessive corrosion or damage.

General Vehicle Condition

Finally, give your vehicle a general once-over. Remove any clutter, especially items that could obstruct the driver’s view or the tester’s access. Ensure the horn works, and check that the vehicle identification number (VIN) matches your documentation.


Preparing for an MOT might seem daunting, but taking these steps can greatly increase your vehicle’s chances of passing. Remember, regular maintenance and addressing issues as they arise can prevent surprises come MOT time. If you’re unsure about any aspect of your vehicle’s condition, consider a pre-MOT check or service at ECF Car Care in Eastbourne. Our team of experts is here to help ensure your vehicle is not only ready for its MOT but also safe and reliable for all your journeys ahead.


For more detailed information about MOT requirements and how ECF Car Care can assist you with your MOT needs, visit . Let’s make sure your vehicle is set for success!

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