What is an MOT?

An MOT should take place on the third anniversary of a vehicle’s registration – or, on an annual basis if the vehicle is more than three years old. An MOT is a legal requirement that affects almost all cars. Some exemptions apply, full details can be found here.

An MOT examines important vehicular aspects, checking whether or not a car meets minimum legal standards. MOT testing is not the same as servicing because the mechanical condition of a vehicle isn’t looked into; for instance, the engine, gearbox or clutch doesn’t come under the MOT purview.

Here at Fred Coupe Motor Store, we’re approved by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), which means our highly trained technical crew is authorised to carry out an MOT on your car.

During an MOT, one of our technicians (or ‘tester’) conducts a thorough vehicular inspection. If everything’s in working order, an MOT certificate is provided – as is a separate list of ‘advisory’ details that require imminent attention.

How can I help ensure my car passes its MOT?

The RAC states that MOT failure rates are chiefly caused by the following issues:

  • Lights – faulty lights result in almost 20 percent of MOT fails
  • Suspension – more than 10 percent
  • Brakes – roughly 10 percent
  • Visibility (i.e. the driver’s view of the road ahead) – more than seven percent

Handbrakes and tyres are other examples of MOT failure causes.​

To ensure your car stands the best chance of passing its MOT, please check the following on a regular basis:

  1. Lights and indicators – headlights, indicators, taillights, hazard lights, etc. should all be functioning correctly.
  2. Brake lights – while you depress the brake pedal, ask an acquaintance to check that the brake lights are operating. Alternatively, complete the check yourself by using a reflective surface.
  3. Number plates – make sure that both are cleaned and fully legible.
  4. Wheels and tyres – both should be undamaged. The minimum legal tyre tread depth is 1.6 millimetres but we recommended that you change tyres whenever the depth reaches three millimetres. If you’re not sure how to check this, please contact your local Fred Coupe Nissan team for advice.
  5. Seats and seatbelts – seats and seatbelts should be in full working order. For instance, the former should adjust in accordance with manufacturer guidelines. In terms of the latter, take the time to examine the full length of each seatbelt for signs of wear and tear. Also, tug sharply on each belt to get a good idea of how it will cope whenever full brake pressure is applied.
  6. Windscreen – check for any signs of damage or anything that might be preventing optimal visibility. For example, a defect measuring more than 40 millimetres will mean MOT failure.
  7. Windscreen wipers – ensure that both are functioning as intended – and that there are no tears or holes, which could result in a failed MOT.
  8. Screenwash – an empty screenwash bottle might not seem important but it could cause your car to fail its MOT.
  9. Horn – if it’s not working, please book an appointment with us so that we can repair or replace it.
  10. Fuel and engine oil – with correct oil levels maintained, your car stands a better chance of passing its MOT.

Please note: before doing any of the above, make sure your vehicle has cooled down after use. This is because some elements may still be hot to the touch.


What happens if I drive a car that doesn’t have an MOT?


​You could be fined up to £2,500, receive a driving ban and have three penalty points added to your licence.

Will you notify me when my MOT is due?


​The responsibility for keeping on top of your car’s MOT dates lies solely with you. However, to help you remember, we provide a complimentary reminder service here.

What else can I do to be ready for an MOT test?


​Clean the interior of your car, making sure that there are no obstructions which might impair the tester’s job.

Should I book a service before an MOT?


You don’t have to but it’s a good idea because it will give your vehicle the best chance of passing its MOT.

Can an MOT take place before the due date?


MOT inspections can occur up to 28 days before the current certificate is due to expire, and don’t worry, you won’t lose the remaining days.

How long does an MOT certificate last?


​A standard MOT certificate is valid for 12 months – from the point when the test takes place, unless it occurs early (see the above question), in which case it’s valid for up to 13 months.

Does Fred Coupe check tyre pressure during an MOT?


No. This isn’t covered by an MOT. However, if your car has tyre damage, and this is significantly impacting pressure, the vehicle could fail.

What happens if my vehicle fails its MOT?


​You’ll be provided with an MOT report. This will outline the cause (or causes) of failure. You’ll receive a separate list too, which will indicate minor (advisory) details that require your attention.

Book your MOT today

Is your car due for its MOT? If so, please book your appointment today with Fred Coupe Nissan.

Book Today