MOT Guidance

How to pass your MOT

Most cars that fail their MOT do so due to minor issues. These can easily be rectified with some simple checks before you bring your car in. To give your car the best chance of passing, view our guidance items below.

Headlights and indicators

Make sure you check your headlights, sidelights, rear lights, hazard lights, indicators and number plate lights are all in working order. If one light isn’t working, we can provide replacements. For most models it’s a simple process to replace a bulb, you’ll find guidance in your handbook. If you are unsure, we are on hand to help.

Brake lights

You may need a helping hand for this one. Ensure your lights turn on when you press the pedal, and they turn off when you release it. Don’t forget to check the lights and the additional brake strip light if you have one.

Number plate

Did you know that cars can fail their MOT if their number plate is dirty or unclear to read? A quick wipe over could make all the difference. It’s is also essential that the font and spacing of the letters comply with legal requirements. If you need a new one, we can help provide it for you.

Wheels and tyres

1.6mm is the legal tread depth limit, ensure your tyres meet this or else it’s a fail on your MOT. If in doubt, the Risboro Garage technicians will be able to check for you and advise on any replacements if they are needed.

Seats and seatbelts

The driver seat must be able to adjust forward and backwards. Seatbelts must also all be in working order. Pull them out to full length and inspect them for any damage, then give them a sharp tug to test they react as they should in the event of braking hard.


Any damage to your windscreen larger than 40mm or wider than 10mm in the drivers view cause a fail.

Windscreen wipers

Any tears or holes in the wipers need to be addressed, as these will cause a fail.

Screen wash

Make sure the bottle is topped up. The difference between a pass and a fail could be down to something as simple as this.


An easy one to test, and it has to work to pass your MOT.

Fuel and engine oil

Without suitable levels of both fuel and engine oil we may have to turn you away for your MOT.

WARNING: Ensure your vehicle has had sufficient time to cool down fully before checking any fluid levels or parts which could be hot to touch, such as lights.