moTIPS - Simple Tips Before Your Car or Van MOT Test

Headlights and Indicators

Check that all of your car’s lights function properly – headlights, sidelights, rear lights, hazard lights and indicators.

Brake Lights

Press the brake pedal and ask a friend to check that the rear brake lights come on – including any supplementary brake strip light. Alternatively, carefully reverse up to a reflective surface (window, wall or garage door) and look behind to see for yourself.

Number Plate

Make sure that the number plate is clean and legible – even a quick wipe with a cloth can make a difference. The font and spacing of letters must also comply with legal requirements to be passed by the MOT station.

Wheels and Tyres

Check that wheels and tyres are undamaged. The minimum legal tyre tread depth is 1.6mm and any tyres with less than this will be marked as an MOT ‘fail’ (though it’s recommended that tyres are changed when tread reaches 3mm).
If you’re in doubt about how much tread is left on a tyre, your local manufacturer main dealer can check for you. The dealer can also advise on the type of tyre that is right for your car if a replacement is required.

Seats and Seatbelts

The driver’s seat should adjust forwards and backwards and all seatbelts should be in good, working order. Test movement of the seat and inspect the seatbelt’s full length for damage. Tug sharply on all seatbelts to check that they react as they’re supposed to if you have to brake severely.
They save your life in a crash, but only if they work properly – inspect the full length for damage and tug sharply on all the seatbelts to check that they react as they’re supposed if you have to brake severely.


Check the view out of the front of the car for damage – any damage larger than 40mm will cause a ‘fail’, as will any damage wider than 10mm in the ‘swept’ area of the windscreen in front of the driver.

Windscreen Wiper Blades

Make sure your wipers are able to keep your windscreen clean – any tears or holes in the wiper rubber can be an MOT fail.


Top up the washer bottle before taking the car in for a test – something as simple as an empty container can cause an MOT fail.


Give a short blast of the horn – if it doesn’t work, your dealer will need to repair or replace it.

Fuel and Engine Oil

Make sure your car is filled with enough fuel and engine oil – you can be turned away from the MOT without suitable levels of either, both of which are required by the dealership when running the car to test its emissions levels. If you are unsure about the type of oil that should be used, ask your manufacturer main dealer.
Note: When checking fluid levels and handling parts that could be become hot to the touch (eg bulbs) it’s always best to ensure that the vehicle has had an opportunity to cool down fully.

Simple Tips To Check Before Your Motorcycle MOT Test

Your motorcycle will need to undergo an MOT to ensure that it is safe to drive. At Forge Garage Repairs, we understand that MOTs and retests can be costly, especially if it fails on something that can easily be remedied if you have the required skills. So we’ve put together a quick checklist, with information on what you can do to ensure that your bike has the best chances of passing its MOT first time.

Do You Need An MOT?

An MOT for your motorcycle will ensure that your vehicle is safe for driving and doesn’t put any drivers, or yourself, at risk. In the UK, all motorcyclists will need an MOT certificate if their motorbike is more than three years old. You will be able to check whether you need an MOT for your motorcycle by referring to the Direct Gov website. Here you can find out the mileage your vehicle had completed when it underwent its last MOT, as well as the expiry date of this test.

Tyres and Suspension

Tyres will need to be attached to your motorbike safely and securely, and should not be broken or damaged. Front and rear tyres should be aligned in the correct way and have the right amount of tread depth in order for you to pass the MOT. Further checks will be undertaken by a trained professional to ensure that the suspension of your vehicle is working correctly. Both the rear and front suspension will be examined, and there should be no oil leaking from the vehicle. So if you notice a fault with your tyres, it could be worth having them replaced at a local garage before the test.


In order for your motorcycle to pass its MOT, a trained professional will check all lights on the vehicle, including tail lights and headlights. These lights will need to be in good working order, and have no chips, holes, or other damage.
Indicators will need to flash properlyand will need to be operating in the correct way.
Defective lights can often be the cause for your vehicle failing your MOT, so you might want to check them yourself before you take your motorcycle to the garage. Most lights are quick and easy to replace yourself, and cheap enough from most auto-part retailers.


Whether your vehicle can brake correctly is an important component of an MOT. Brakes that don’t work correctly, or are malfunctioning, could pose a significant safety risk to you and other road users so they will be checked rigorously to ensure that you are safe when on the road.
If you use your bike regularly, you should notice if there has been a change in the performance of your brakes. If have any concerns, you can shop around for the best repair or replacement prices to save you money before your bike fails its MOT.


Handlebars will also be checked to see if they are in proper working order. For example, the handlebar must be securely attached to the vehicle, and you should also be able to steer the motorcycle without any drag in order to pass your MOT.
The grips will also need to be safe and secure. It not, replacing them before your MOT could save you the cost of a retest later on.


The exhaust of your vehicle will be checked to see if there are any leaks or holes in the boxes and joints. The legal markings on the exhaust will also be examined.

Other Components

This MOT checklist for your motorcycle is by no means exhaustive; a trained professional will check other components of your motorcycle to ensure that it is road-safe. For example, the horn will be examined to ensure that the noise it emits is of a reasonable volume, and any belts and chains will also be inspected. The frame of your bike will also be checked for corrosion and other damage.
By giving your bike a good inspection, you could identify some of these issues yourself and act to have them remedied before taking your bike to the test centre. By doing this you will be able to shop around for the best prices, and avoid the cost of a retest for something cheap, like a handlebar grip.

Not Sure When Your MOT and Tax Are Due?

Call us today FREE on 0800 023 8414 or 01732 763 186 with your vehicle Registration Number.
​Or ​click here to visit the DVLA Website.

​CALL FREE ON 0800 023 8414 or 01732 763 186



Should you choose to come in person, you can experience our service for yourself including all the latest facilities and our comfortable waiting area.


To book an appointment call free on 0800 023 8414 or 01732 763 186.
​Our opening hours are Monday to Friday 0800 – 1800 and Saturday’s 0800 - 1300.


If your MOT is about to expire just pop in to our Test Centre. We do our utmost to accommodate visitors whether we know you or not. ​Click here to find us.

If your MOT has expired please call 0800 023 8414 or 01732 763 186 first and book your MOT otherwise you will be driving your vehicle illegally and could be prosecuted.


Whether you are a motorcycle hire company, motorcycle dealership, motorcycle courier company or repair shop we are always more than happy to help and support other local businesses provide safe motorcycles and great service to their customers. So if you need a reliable and reputable MOT Centre for a motorcycle fleet large or small, give Forge Garage Repairs a call on 0800 023 8414 or 01732 763 186.

CALL FREE ON 0800 023 8414 or 01732 763 186


When's your Tax and MOT due?

Looking for a reliable trade MOT Centre in Sevenoaks?

Forge Garage Repairs Specialist MOT CentreSevenoaks Kent

Need A Fleet Or Business Vehicle Service and MOT Account?

Friend us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and read what our customers say on Streetlife

Forge Garage Repairs Facebook Link

Follow Us on Twitter Logo

Follow us on Streetlife

Forge Garage Repairs Credit Crads Accepted

Forge Garage Repairs fights cybercrime, protects data and reduces security risks in partnership with Trustwave.

Twitter Profile Image

Another dangerous tyre found on MOT inspection!😧 This on a Porsche Panamara! Customer was about to drive to Bristol