Boost the chances of your car passing its next MOT in five simple steps.

Pull all the seatbelts and check they respond in the way they need to. Picture: Getty ImagesPull all the seatbelts and check they respond in the way they need to. Picture: Getty Images

Vehicle specialist Murray Shearer from Vanquish Auto Solutions reveals what pre-MOT checks to do on your car before its next MOT.

Why is now the best time to book my MOT?

You need to make sure your tyre tread is thick enough. Picture: Getty ImagesYou need to make sure your tyre tread is thick enough. Picture: Getty Images

The vehicle MOT checks that your car is safe to drive, is roadworthy and meets the current environmental standards. As you may not have driven your car much during lockdown, it’s important to make sure everything is running as it should.

“You should get your car booked in for its MOT sooner rather than later,” Murray said.

“Though the government issued a six-month extension of MOTs before the lockdown, now that garages are open, tests are filling up fast and you can still be charged if there’s an issue with your car or if your MOT isn’t up to date.”

The fine for driving without a valid MOT can be up to £1000.

How can my car pass its MOT?

To help boost the chances of a pass, try running some checks before your car’s next service.

“Most people fail for silly reasons, that with a bit of warning, could have been easily resolved and avoided,” Murray said.

1. Check your brake lights

Make sure that your brake lights come on when they’re supposed to and that your hazard lights, headlights, sidelights, rear lights, and indicators are all functioning properly.

“It’s also worth topping up your brake fluid if you haven’t for a while, to avoid any problems,” Murray said.

2. Make sure your engine management light is off

It’s an automatic failure if it’s found on during the test.

“If your engine management light is on or flashing, take it to your local garage to get it checked out,” Murray said.

3. Test your windscreen wipers

Make sure there are no large cracks or scratches on the windscreen and remember to top up your wiper fluid before the test - an empty container can prevent your car from passing.

4. Inspect your tyres for damage and check the tread

You need to make sure your tyre’s tread is thick enough.

“Anything less than 1.6mm will be marked as a fail,” said Murray. “I’d recommend changing your tyres when they get down to around 3mm to be on the safe side.”

“If you’re not sure how to measure the tread on your tyre, we can do this for you.”

5. Ensure your seats and seatbelts are in working order

Try moving the driver’s seat and make sure you have no difficulty adjusting it.

Pull all the seatbelts and check they respond in the way they need to and make sure the material of the belt isn’t fraying or torn.

Many of these simple checks could be the difference between an automatic failure and a pass on your MOT. It can be worth booking a pre-MOT check to catch these issues before your test.

What are pre-MOT checks?

“It’s a 20-minute full health check that you can have done two to three weeks before your test to look for any issues that can cause an automatic failure, giving you time to fix them before your MOT,” said Murray.

A pre-MOT test is free to book and could help save you save money on car repairs and avoid the need to re-book your car’s MOT.

Who can issue my MOT certificate?

An MOT tester registered and approved by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) can carry out your MOT and issue your certificate.

Vanquish Auto Solutions is a DVSA-approved MOT centre and trusted vehicle specialist that offers an honest service at a competitive price.

They are now open and are following all government advice to ensure yours and the staffs’ safety.

Visit vanquishautos.com to book your next MOT before its due.

Call 01480 471765 or email info@vanquishautos.com to book your free pre-MOT test.