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From Jan 2012 a large number of additional items have been introduced to the MOT.

Vehicles tested in the first 3 months of 2012 will be given an advisory on the new items, which will then need to be rectified before the next MOT.

Vehicles tested from 1st April 2012 will need to be fully compliant with the new rules.



HID (High intensity discharge) and LED headlights.

Under the new rules, cars fitted with HID or LED headlights must have a working headlight washer system and self-levelling function. This is to prevent other motorists being dazzled, as the output from these lights can be up to three times that of other headlights.

Dirt on the lens can cause diffraction of the light which is why a cleaning system is fitted as standard to cars with these types of headlight. The self levelling function compensates for passengers or a heavy load over the rear of the car that could cause the headlights to aim higher than they otherwise should.

Where a car has been fitted with HID units after manufacture, it must comply with the same rules, therefore it should also have a washer system and self levelling function.


Modification to lights

Products applied to any light source on the vehicle that change the colour or brightness of the light will cause a vehicle to fail, for instance lens tinting spray.


Headlamp high beam dash light

The dashboard 'tell-tale' light that warns the driver that high beam is on, must be operational.


Other dashboard warning lights

For cars fitted with ESC (electronic stability control) the warning light should come on and then extinguish after a few seconds. If it stays on to warn of a fault, the car will fail. This also applies to warning lights for cars fitted with electric power steering, brake fluid warning lights, tyre pressure monitors, air bags lights and seat belt pre-tensioner warnings.


Power steering fluid level & electric steering malfunction

For cars with hydraulic power steering, the reservoir will be check to make sure the fluid level is above the minimum mark. (Cars where the level is not visible without removing the cap will not be checked.)

For cars with electric power steering, the malfunction light on the dashboard should come on and then extinguish after the car is started.



The car battery must be secure and not cracked and leaking fluid. The wiring should be in good condition and not likely to short circuit.


Suspension, steering and brake covers

Dust covers designed to keep road dirt out of joints for all the above items must be in good condition, i.e. not split or missing.


Steering components & steering lock

The steering lock is the device built into the steering column that locks it in place when the key is removed from the ignition. It is an anti theft device fitted to most cars, and where fitted as standard, it will be tested for operation.

The steering system will be checked for leaks, heavy corrosion of any pipework and fouling of components.


Electronic Parking Brake

Where fitted in place of a manual handbrake, an electronic parking brake will have a warning light to indicate malfunction. If this is illuminated, the vehicle will fail. This also applied to any other electronic safety braking systems.


Seats & seat belts

Seats will be tested by their ability to move forwards and backwards freely and lock correctly in to multiple positions. This applies to both manual and electric seats.

Seat belt pre-tensioners designed to tighten the belt and restrict movement in the event of a serious accident will also be checked. A failure will be caused by a malfunction indicated by a warning light, or where they have deployed. If fitted as standard when the car was built, they must still be in place.

Seat belt load limiters will also be checked for deployment. The most common are an area of webbing on the belt designed to unstitch in a high impact collision and limit any injury that can be caused to the upper body by the belt itself.


Tyre pressure monitoring systems (TPMS)

Where fitted, the warning light should come on with the ignition and then extinguish. This check applies only built with the system after Jan 2012.


Air bags

All airbags fitted as original equipment to a vehicle must be present and the airbag warning light should go out after the car is started.


Catalytic converter

If fitted to the car as original equipment, the catalytic converter must be present.



The speedometer must be present and operational. A broken or incomplete dial or one that does not illuminate will cause the car to fail.




Rear doors

The rear doors of a vehicle should open from the outside via the intended method of operation. All doors will be checked for ease of opening, along with the catches, hinges and pillars.


Fuel system

Fuel pipes will now be checked for damaged and deterioration.


Engine mountings

Engine mountings that have deteriorated and allow excess movement will cause a vehicle to fail.


Trailer wiring & towbars

7 pin sockets will be checked for damage, whilst 13 pin sockets will be fully tested to ensure full operation and correct illumination functions.

The towbar will be checked for poor repair of fittment and the likelihood of it affecting the roadworthiness of the vehicle or object on tow.