The new MOT Test

The MOT test has under gone a major update to new vehicle test components in accordance with the new EU Directive. The first stage we saw took place January 2012 and the second stage was due summer 2012, but has only just been completed in March 2013

All EU countries must comply with the new MOT directive to ensure that vehicles using public roads throughout Europe are safe and operate within the emission limits.

In mainland Britain cars and light commercial vehicles must be mot tested when they are 3 years old and annual there after although this varies in the EU.

The mot tests over 150 checks of safety related and emission systems, the annual mot tests makes a significant contribution to road safety.

The New MOT components.

Inside the car.

The steering lock is now part of the test, the tester will remove the key, and turn the steering wheel until the lock engages, where it is fitted as standard.

It is acceptable for the steering lock to be removed if it has been replaced with a permanently installed immobilisation device which prevents the vehicle from moving either by the steering, gear shift or transmission.

The main beam tell tale warning light must illuminate when the main beam is selected.

Illumination of the malfunction indicator light (MIL),

If any of the following MIL systems are illuminated, this will result in a fail:-

  • Electronic power steering
  • Electronic stability control (traction control)
  • Electronic parking brake control
  • Brake fluid warning lamp
  • Tyre pressure monitoring system obviously inoperative
  • Supplementary restraint systems (SRS) i.e... airbag light

The drivers seat adjustment both forwards and backwards will now be checked, however not all settings will be checked.

The speedometer must be intact, free from damage, fully visible and must be illuminated.

Rear passenger doors need to open from the outside of the car.

All door hinges, catches and pillars are to be assessed for excessive damage and corrosion.

Indirect vision devises, the TV screen which shows up the rear when you select reverse.


Front and rear position side lights must work using the single use of a switch.

Head lamps fitted with LED or HID (high definition) bulbs that have self levelling or cleaning devices fitted as standard must be fully operational.

Any products on the lenses that reduce the light output such as tinted lenses or films will result in a fail.


Vehicles fitted with a catalytic converter as standard will now fail if it has been removed.

LPG vehicles will be inspected for leaks using a gas detection spray.

Under the bonnet

The power steering fluid level will be checked if visible through the reservoir, though the cap will not be removed.

The power steering pipes will be checked for damage or corrosion.

The car battery will be inspected for security and leaks.

All visible electrical wiring and connectors will be inspected for any damage and to ensure they are fully insulated.

Engine and gearbox   mountings are to be assessed for excessive movement; however the engine stabiliser bars are not part of the test.


Any brake system that has been inappropriately repaired or modified i.e... Brake cables, rods or joints will not pass.

Load sensing/compensator valves are now checked for impaired function or incorrect adjustment.

ABS (anti-locking brake system) and ESC (traction control) components and wiring are inspected for presence and condition.

Brake performance , a vehicle that is being tested using a decelerometer (used for 4x4’s in permanent 4 wheel drive or vehicles where traction control systems cannot be turned off) , must keep to a straight line when the parking brake is applied, i.e.. If one side of the parking brake does not work correctly this will now be a failure.

Steering and suspension

The steering/suspension ball joint dust covers need to be able to keep out the dirt, so the dust covers must not be damaged or deteriorated.

The drive shaft support bearings must not be excessively worn and the drive shaft gaiters must not be insecure or deteriorated to the extent that it allows dirt into the joint.

Inappropriate repairs or modifications to steering or suspension components would result in a fail.

Coil spring with broken tangs, ( the last bit of the coil) will now result in a failure.

Out Side the vehicle

A tow bar 13-pin electrical socket will be checked for damage and security and all lights will be checked using an approved trailer socket tester.

7-pin sockets are not testable with an electrical tester as there is no standard wiring protocol.

This does not include emergency towing eyes. If a tow ball or pin is not fitted at the time of Test e.g.. because it is detachable, has been unbolted or otherwise removed, but the attachment brackets are still in place, these brackets and any trailer electrical socket will still be assessed unless the attachment brackets have been deliberately rendered unfit for further use.

The advisory notice that you may receive with the pass or fail sheet are either testable items that may soon need attention or items that are not part of the test which also may need attention or any peculiarity of the vehicle. You may need expert advice, even though that a MOT test certificate has been issued you may still be liable for prosecution or invalidate your insurance.


This information will help your car through the MOT on a few of all of the technicalities that can result in a fail rather than a pass. Our aim is to keep you safe and on the road for longer at an affordable price for many years to come.