MOT Test Checks List | What is checked on an MOT | Overview

MOT checks categories diagram, fault results

The MOT Test checks list – overview

The MOT Test checks list section is a complete list and description of the checks your vehicle will undergo during its MOT Test. While this list groups the checks under each component, the Tester will carry out the checks in a specific sequence designed to save time, Testing all under-vehicle items or under-bonnet items at the same time for example.

Bear in mind that a Tester may not fail an item if it is within the limits set by DVSA – if it is dangerously close to failing but still within limits the Tester must still pass it, but may give the vehicle an ‘Advisory’ notice. For your own and other road users’ safety you are urged to take urgent notice and act on any advisory items you may find on your certificate. (See ‘New MOT failure definitions’ below).

If you want to ask an MOT Tester about a specific problem, first register on the MOT Forum, then ask your question in the appropriate section.

Links to all MOT Tests | MOT Test Descriptions

List of MOT Test Checks (May 20th 2018 update)

This is a description of MOT checks made during an MOT inspection.

It is designed to give you a better understanding of the MOT and to enable you to carry out some simple checks for yourself before taking your car for its MOT.

The following list of MOT checks will tell you which parts of your car are inspected, how the pass or fail result may differ from previous MOT inspections and tells you about some new items which have been added to the MOT Test.

The biggest changes will be to your MOT Test result document – MOT defects will now fall into one of three categories:

“Minor” defect – the item has not failed the MOT, but is a defect which should be fixed as soon as possibleMinor
“Major” ” defect – which is the same as a current MOT failure – the item must be fixed in order to passMajor
“Dangerous” defect – which means an MOT failure, the item must be fixed in order to pass, and the vehicle should not be driven on the road until this has been done*Dangerous

Your car may pass with no defects at all, or with one or more ‘minor’ defects – it is still a pass.

If your car has one or more ‘major’ or ‘dangerous’ defects, it is a fail.

*A “dangerous” note on your MOT failure document is informing you clearly in writing that your vehicle is not safe to drive.

Additionally, your car may pass with no ‘defects’ at all, but still carry an ‘advisory’ note from the Tester if he discovers something which may not be part of the MOT Test, but nevertheless is something you should be aware of.

From 6 February 2023, if a tester uses the defect ‘item not tested’, the reason for selecting this defect must be explained in the additional information box. This applies to all classes of vehicles.

Previous Description of MOT Test: MOT Test checks list
MOT checks have now been organised into new categories – for example, exhaust and noise are now grouped in section 8 under ‘Nuisance’ (see illustration at the top of this section). This image, which dates from before May ’18, is shown for comparison.

Click here for an item by item description of the MOT.

Further information: The online MOT Tester’s Manual.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.

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