Church Garage Winchester, Winchesters local garage.

MOT Testing

MOT tests can be carried out on your car up to one month prior to the expiry date of an existing UK MOT certificate provided that a current MOT certificate is presented to the examiner at the time of the test.

On passing the MOT test, the vehicle will receive a certificate valid from the date of expiry of your existing MOT certificate. All UK cars 3 years old and over require a valid MOT certificate by law. The contents and standards required are set by the Vehicle Inspectorate.

To book an MOT, call us on (01962) 776 868 or contact us by popping in or emailing us.

What is involved?

The annual testing of your vehicle to ensure it meets minimum road safety standards. You may view the MOT test if you wish. It will be carried out by a Vehicle Inspectorate approved tester. An assistant is essential for proper conduct of the MOT test. You must not interrupt or distract the tester during the inspection. Due to MOT procedures, items may appear under more than one heading.

  • +Brakes
    Reserve brake
    This could be a handbrake or a footbrake.
    Checked for reserve travel so that it does not reach the stops on application.
    The mountings will be checked for security and /or corrosion.

    Under bonnet checks
    • Master cylinder and servo unit are checked for fluid leaks with the engine on and the brakes applied.
    • Servo unit will be checked to ensure it is operating correctly.
    • Visible metal or flexible brake pipes will be checked for corrosion, condition, breakages or leaks.

    Under Vehicle checks
    With an assistant applying load to the
    • Flexible brake pipes and any other metal brake pipes visible beneath the car are checked
    • Disks and drums checked for condition and contamination
    • Brake back plates and calliper securing devices are checked for condition and security
    • Condition of the brake pads will be checked if visible
    • An assistant operates the handbrake while the condition of the linkages and/or cables is checked.
    • On some vehicles there will be a brake compensating valve beneath the car which will need to be inspected for fluid leaks

    Brake performance check
    The performance of the front and rear brakes will be checked for efficiency and balance using specialised equipment.
  • +Doors
    Both front doors must be capable of being opened from the inside and outside and all doors must latch securely.

    Tailgates, bootlids etc.

    All these items, including the tailboards and dropsides of trucks must be capable of being secured in the closed position.
  • +Emissions
    These are checked using specialised equipment, the details of the check depending on the year that the vehicle was first used on the road. Excessive smoking is a reason for failure. Diesel emissions are checked by using a smoke meter.
  • +Fuel System
    Any fuel leak will result in a fail. Checked under the bonnet and throughout the run of the fuel line from the fuel tank to the engine.

    • The fuel filler cap must fasten securely
    • The seal in the cap must not be torn, deteriorated or missing
    • No other defect should be present which could cause fuel to leak out.
  • +Horn
    • Operation.
    • Control should be easily reached by the driver.
    • Volume must be sufficiently audible to pedestrians and other vehicles.
    • The tone should not consist of a sequential multi-tone.
  • +Lights
    All required lights are checked for:
    • Operation.
    • Condition.
    • Security.

    Side lights and headlamps:
    • Acceptable make/model.
    • Dip and aim must be within specified perameters Stop lights, indicators and hazard lights*
    • Acceptable make/model
    • Lights,indicators and hazard lights must not interfere with each other whilst in operation.
    • Indicators, stop lights and hazard warning lights function. Rear fog lamps**
    • Must be fitted to the centre or offside of the vehicle.
    • Tell-tale must work.
    • Must not be affected by other lamps and not be obscured.
    • Must be red.

    Number plate lamps:
    • All original lamps must be fitted and working.

    Rear reflectors:
    • There must be two reflectors fitted reasonably symmetrically, securely attached and not obscured.

    * Must be fitted to all vehicles first used on or after 1st April 1986, but if fitted, must be tested.
    ** Must be fitted to all vehicles first used on or after 1st April 1980.
  • +Mirrors
    Not all mirrors on all vehicles are subject to Test, depending on the age of the vehicle. Those mirrors which must be checked must be:

    • Secure
    • Visible from the drivers seat
    • Not distorted or damaged so as to seriously impair the drivers view to the rear.
  • +REGISTRATION PLATES AND VIN* (Vehicle Identification Number)
    For registered vehicles the plate must be:
    • Present
    • Secure
    • Not faded, dirty or obscured
    • Be composed with correctly formed letters and spacing

    The VIN number must be:
    • Permanently displayed
    • Consistent · Legible.

    * Required on all vehicles first used on or after 1st August 1980.
  • +Seat Belts
    Most vehicles after 1965 must have seat belts, irrespective of that requirement, all seat belts fitted to any vehicle must be inspected for:

    • Security of seat belt mountings and locking stalks
    • Security and operation of the locking/release mechanism
    • Condition of webbing
    • Retraction of the belt (it is permissable to manually feed it in).


    1 For technical reasons the inertia locking mechanism is not checked.
    2 On some vehicles the belt is attached to the seat, in which case the security of the seat to the vehicle would also constitute part of the seat belt check.
  • +Seats
    • The driver's and the front passenger's seats must be secure
    • All seat backs must be securable in the upright position.
  • +Steering
    Inside the car checks
    • Steering wheel and steering column:
    • Steering wheel condition
    • The steering wheel must be securely attached to the steering shaft
    • The upper bearings of the steering column are inspected for wear
    • The steering shaft is checked for excessive end float
    • Clamping bolts security
    • The split pins and locking nuts
    • The 'free play' in the steering
    • Flexible couplings and universal joints.

    Under the bonnet checks - Vary according to the vehicle;
    Some of these items cannot be observed from under the bonnet on some makes and models. However in all cases checks will be made for:
    • The security of the steering rack or steering box and its mountings
    • Any discernible play in the steering joints
    • Swivel joints which form part of the steering system which can be readily inspected from under the bonnet will obviously be inspected.
    • Whilst the vehicle stands on special Swivel plates the wheels are turned from lock to lock and checked to ensure that wheels and tyres do not foul of either the structure of the vehicle or any brake pipes or hoses.
    • Wheel bearings are checked.
    • Steering rack gaiters/front outer constant velocity joint boots are examined.
    • Metal and rubber bushes are checked as

    Under vehicle checks:
    • All the steering joints.
    • Power steering systems.
    • Security of attachment of the steering rack or steering box is checked both with respect to tightness of the nuts and bolts, and structural cracking or corrosion of the vehicle chassis where it is attached.
    • Also, split pins/locking nuts and other locking or retaining devices relate to steering components. Some cars have an element of rear wheel steering which is checked from beneath the car. The front suspension is checked, but also the rear for:
    • Excessive wear to Wheel bearings.
    • Condition of front drive shafts/CV joints
  • +Suspension
    Under bonnet checks:
    • Upper suspension joints
    • Any other suspension components which
    can be inspected from beneath the bonnet

    Under vehicle checks:
    Both the front and rear suspension are checked to ensure.
    • No split pins or nuts missing, no components broken or bent
    • Road springs function effectively, no excessive wear
    • Suspension joints function effectively, no excessive wear
    • Shock absorbers must not leak and must be secure (the vehicle will be 'bounced' by the Tester to check that they damp the springs adequately).

    Suspension is checked for wear by the assistant applying loads in various ways with the wheels jacked up whilst the Tester observes the result from beneath the vehicle.
  • +Tyres / Wheels
    Tyre condition
    A failure with respect to tyre wear will result where:-
    The grooves of the tread pattern are not at least 1.6mm throughout a continuous band comprising:
    • Central 3/4 of the breadth of tread
    • Entire outer circumference of the tyre.

    Tyres must be correctly matched with regard to:
    • Type
    • Size
    • Structure
    • Location on the vehicle with respect to the axles.

    Also examined:
    • General condition of tyre
    • Condition of valve

    Tyres fail if they have serious cuts, bulges or other damage. The wear on the tyre is checked with a tyre tread depth gauge to ensure compliance. The tyres are examined to ensure that there is no fouling with any part of the vehicle.

    The condition of the spare tyre is not part of the MOT.

    Wheel condition
    Inspection to reveal:
    • Damage
    • Distortion
    • Cracks
    • Distorted bead rims
    • How securely attached to the vehicle
    • No wheel-nuts or studs missing

    An externally fitted spare wheel or spare wheel carrier must not be so insecure that it is likely to fall off.
  • +Vehicle Structure
    Body condition and security
    • The vehicle body must not insecure or displaced so as to constitute a risk of loss of control of the vehicle when driven, or a danger to other road users.
    • There must be no dangerous sharp edges or projections caused by corrosion or damage

    A vehicle can fail with respect to corrosion for:
    • Excessive corrosion in a 'prescribed area' - within 30 cms of certain components, e.g. brakes, steering, suspension, seat belt mountings etc.
    • Excessive corrosion in a 'prescribed area', but which is likely to adversely affect the vehicle's brakes or steering.

    'Excessive corrosion' can mean a hole or a significantly weakened structure.
  • +Windscreen
    The inspection has to ascertain all items affecting the driver's view of the road: the condition of the windscreen, the wipers and washers.
Important information : An MOT Certificate relates only to the condition of testable items at the time of the test. It should not be regarded as evidence of the condition of the items tested at any other time nor should it be taken as evidence of the general mechanical condition of the vehicle.
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