MOT Test Mythbusters

Correct at 27/06/08

The MOT test is in accordance with section 45 of the Road Traffic Act. This is a very different set of regulations to “Construction & Use”.

Wording in “quotes” is taken from The MOT Inspection Manual.

Testable Items
ABS warning lamp:-
"If a vehicle is fitted with an anti-lock braking system, check that
a. a warning lamp is fitted
b. the lamp illuminates
c. the lamp follows the correct sequence of operation
d. does not indicate a fault."

Rear Fog Lamps:-
Required on vehicles first used on or after 1st April 1980
One light can be fitted to the centre or offside of the vehicle
Must have a drivers tell-tale light.
“The inspection of rear fog lamps is confined to the one rear fog lamp which is required to be fitted to the centre or offside of vehicles first used on or after 1 April 1980.”
"Note: A rear fog lamp is permitted to operate independently of headlamp, position lamp or ignition systems.“
The rear fog lamp must operate along with dipped headlamps and ignition switched on.
The switch does not need to have night-time illumination.

Items that are NOT part of the MOT test:-

Reverse lamps.
Hand brake warning lamp.
Sharp edges not caused by corrosion or damage (a bonnet mascot is not a reson for rejection even though it may have a sharp edge by design).
E markings on lights.
Exact positioning of lights.
Exact brightness of lights.
The rubber cover over the damper piston rod.
Spare wheels & tyres. Although “The vehicle presenter should be informed when it is noticed that there is a defective tyre on a spare wheel/if a defect is noticed on a spare wheel”.
Optional Lamps “Any additional position lamps are optional and are not included in the inspection”

Items that do not constitue a fail
A minor exhaust gas leak - Reason for Rejection “A major leak of exhaust gases from any part of the system Note: A minor exhaust leak from, for example, a connection joint or a pin hole, is not a reason for rejection” 

Quotes taken from The MOT Inspection Manual
"Hydraulic parking brakes
Hydraulic parking brakes as a sole means of operation are not acceptable on vehicles first used on or after 1st January 1968. However, they may be used to assist the application or release of a mechanical brake.”