Your MOT date drawing closer can be a daunting prospect but it doesn’t have to be, as roughly 50% of all faults, minor or major, can be avoided by simply performing regular maintenance and visual checks – saving time and money. Preparing your vehicle for its MOT is an absolute must, and saves a lot of inconvenience by keeping you on the road.

Some of the top common issues that contribute to MOT failures every year include tyre conditions, faulty light bulbs and wipers. These things can easily be tested at home, with no mechanical experience, to help prevent unwanted frustration.

In this quick guide, we will cover some of the best tips to bump up your chances of passing your MOT, and some regular maintenance and quick visual checks to keep your car safe and on the road.

Windscreen and Wipers

Though this might seem like common sense, any restrictions/obstructions to your visibility can be an instant MOT failure. Your windscreen should be clear of cracks, chips (larger than 40mm) and objects that could obstruct your view.

Your windscreen wipers should be in a fully functional condition to allow you to see in all weather conditions. If you have noticed your wiper blades moving slower than usual or even not moving at all, you might want to get this checked out as soon as possible.

Keep objects away from the windscreen, such as air fresheners hanging from your rearview mirror or objects stuck to the dashboard.


Tyres account for over 11% of MOT failures. With this in mind, you should regularly check the condition of your tyres and before your MOT, and get them replaced as soon as you spot any problems.

You can check your tyres visually at home and assess for cuts, punctures, bulges, cracks and incorrect tread depth. The legal tyre tread depth for a car is 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of your tyre, which you can easily check using a 20p coin.

Number Plates

Your number plate must be easy to read from a distance, so if it doesn’t have the correct style of lettering or sufficient spacing, you can be certain that you’ll find yourself with an instant MOT failure. 

To pass your MOT, your number plate also needs to be free of damage or obstructions. This means that your number plate should be clean and if you notice any damage, it should be replaced as soon as possible.

Oil Leaks

You should regularly check and maintain your oil levels to avoid costly repairs later on. You should check this on a regular basis and, in particular, before a long journey or prior to an MOT test.

Checking your oil levels can also help to identify potential oil leaks, which can be another common advisory or, in some cases, an MOT failure.

Warning Lights

All lights on your car must be clean and working, not just before an MOT, but at all times. This is why you should watch out for any warning lights and attend to them as soon as possible, and before your MOT takes place.

On the same topic, you should also regularly check your headlights (full and dipped), side lamps, daytime running lights, hazard warning lights, fog lights and number plate lights. 

If one of your bulbs has gone out, it’s important you find a replacement as soon as you can, otherwise, this can affect your visibility and others’ visibility of you.


Your horn is essential for warning others of your presence or alerting other road users of nearby hazards. The horn must be loud enough to be heard by other road users.

If the horn does not sound, then this will result in an MOT failure. Before your MOT, check your horn is operating as it should, otherwise, you can check if all electrical connections are correctly leading to the horn or if there are issues relating to the fuse. If in doubt, it’s best to get a trusted mechanic to check for you.

MOT Tests in Loughborough

We hope these tips for MOT preparation are helpful in getting your car ready for an upcoming MOT! At Parkland Services Ltd we offer affordable MOTs in Leicestershire as part of our MOT service.

For any of our work, we will always do our utmost to give you an accurate quote beforehand and will never carry out any additional work without your authority. 

If you would like to book your MOT, please visit our online booking page, or if you require advice, please do not hesitate to call us on 01509 232232.