MOT Testing Class IV - Cliffewoods Auto EngineersCliffewoods Auto Engineers LTD is authorised by The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency or DVSA (formally VOSA) to perform a series of comprehensive checks and inspections on your vehicle.

Your vehicle must be in a ‘roadworthy’ condition and it is the law that every vehicle over the age of 3 years old has a valid MOT. Every year a vehicle must have an MOT test if it is 3 years or older.

Our trained testers are experts and will ensure that your vehicle is inspected to the highest standards and issued with your MOT certificate giving you complete peace of mind.

To preserve the anniversary date of your MOT, a test can be carried out on your car up to one month before the expiry date. On passing the MOT test, your vehicle will receive a certificate valid from the date of the test, and with an expiry date either 12 calendar months from the date of issue or 12 months from the expiry date on the old certificate if this is greater.

Please note that some vehicles need to be tested from one year old – see DVSA website for full details.

MOT test class 4 – What is tested?

Listed below are the main elements that are checked as part of a class 3 MOT test. Almost 50% of all faults found during MOT checks could be avoided by carrying out simple maintenance, so it’s a good idea to check items like lights, wiper blades and tyres beforehand so that your vehicle has the best chance of a first time pass!


In order to pass the MOT test, front, rear, brake, fog, indicator and registration lights and rear reflectors must:

  • Be correctly positioned and secured
  • Not be obscured
  • Be in good condition
  • Show the correct colour (a bluish tinge to front headlights is acceptable as long as the predominant colour is white)
  • Not be adversely affected by the operation of any other light
  • Illuminate with a single operation of the switch or dial

Pairs of lights must emit light of the same colour, size and shape.

Headlight aim (both dip beam and main beam) should be below horizontal, to avoid dazzling other drivers.

30% of all MOT faults relate to lighting and signalling.

Check before you book your MOT test

Before your MOT test, ask a friend or relative to walk around your vehicle to check each of the lights while you operate them from the driver’s seat.


The horn must emit a continuous uniform note and must be loud enough to be heard by other road users.


The battery must be secure and not show any signs of leaking electrolyte.

Electrical Wiring

Wiring should be secure and must not be damaged to the point where it is likely to short circuit or become detached.

Vehicles With Towbar

Any electrical socket will be tested for its condition and that it correctly operates the trailer parking lights, brake lights, indicators and rear fog lights.

Steering & Suspension


As part of your MOT test, the tester will assess the strength and condition of the steering wheel by pushing the steering in various directions and inspecting for wear or damage to the steering mechanism and components.

If your steering has a locking device, it will be tested to ensure it only locks when the engine is switched off.

Vehicles with power steering must have at least the minimum level of power steering fluid in the reservoir.


Suspension components and shock absorbers will be checked for excessive corrosion, distortion and fractures.


The overall condition of the brakes, pedals and levers will be inspected, as well as any relevant warning lights.

A brake performance test will be carried out to test brake efficiency.

9.6% of MOT test fails are related to brake issues.


The tyre must be of an appropriate speed and load rating for the vehicle. More information »

Tread depth must not be below the legal limit of 1.6mm, and tyres will be examined for cuts in excess of 25mm, lumps, bulges, tears, exposure of the cord and tread separation.

For vehicles with run-flat tyres, the warning light must operate correctly.

Road wheels must be in good general condition.

10% of all MOT faults are related to tyres.

Seatbelts & Restraints

Each seat belt will be checked for its security and condition. This includes the attachment and adjustment fittings.

Bodywork & Structure


General inspection of the body, chassis, engine mountings, seats, bonnet, boot and doors will be carried out as part of your MOT test. All components must be free from excessive corrosion and must not have any sharp edges that are liable to cause injury.

Registration Plates

A registration plate must be fitted at the front and rear of the vehicle. The plates must be secure and clearly legible from 20 metres away.

The characters on the plate must be correctly formed and spaced and not likely to be misread.

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

All vehicles must permanently display a legible VIN, either on a VIN plate secured to the vehicle, or stamped or etched on the body or chassis.


All vehicles must be fitted with a speedometer. The MOT tester will check that it can be illuminated. It does not matter if the dial glass is cracked as long as the speed can be read.

Fuel, Exhaust System & Emissions

Exhaust System

The exhaust system will be inspected to ensure it is secure and does not leak or blow. If your vehicle was originally fitted with a catalytic converter, it must still be present.

Fuel System

The fuel system will be checked for leaks. The fuel tank cap must seal properly.


The MOT tester will use a gas analyser probe while the engine is running to test the smoke emitted from the exhaust. Emissions of carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons must fall within certain legal limits.

The MOT tester will make a visual check for excessive dense blue or black smoke emitted from the exhaust, which is a cause for MOT failure.

Drivers View

Mirrors & Wipers

Rear view mirrors and wing mirrors must be secure and provide sufficient views to the rear and side.

Wipers and washers must sweep a wide enough area to give the driver a clear view of the road.


The area of the windscreen directly in front of the driver must not have any damage or obstruction to the view larger than 10mm. Outside this area (the swept area), there must not be any damage or other obstruction larger than 40mm.

6.6% of MOT test fails are related to the driver’s view of the road.


Most vehicles need an MOT check and a new certificate every 12 months once they’re 3 years old. Visit to find out when your car needs its next test.

You can get an MOT for your vehicle up to a month (minus a day) before the MOT expires. You can find out when your MOT is due by following the link above or by looking at your previous MOT certificate.

An MOT test takes approximately one hour, but this could take longer if any repairs are need to be carried out. Please ensure you arrive 10 minutes prior to your MOT is due to take place and you can leave your car with us until it is convenient for you to collect.

An MOT covers a wide variety of checks to ensure your vehicle is safe and meets environmental standards. See our full MOT test checklist for further details.

Some of the most common MOT failures are small and preventable such as:

  • Windscreen – is the drivers windscreen damaged and check all wipers working
  • Lights – are all lights fully working
  • Tyres – check tyre pressure and tread depth

Before you have your MOT you should carry out a few simple checks before you bring your car into our depot, this could save you time and money if you have to have a retest.

No documentation is required if your car has previously had an MOT or you have not had a change of registration plate. If this is the car’s first MOT you will need to bring a V5C certificate with you. This will also be required if your vehicle has had a change of registration plate since its last MOT.

In the case of your vehicle failing its MOT your car is deemed as ‘unroadworthy ‘. The necessary repairs must be carried out before the vehicle is retested. Please be aware that without a valid MOT certificate your car is illegal to drive.

A fine of up to £1,000 can be issued for driving a vehicle without a valid MOT.

If repairs are carried out at the same test centre on the same day, or on the following day at another test centre, we’ll carry out a free MOT retest.

If your car leaves our test centre and is returned to the same centre the next working day you won’t have to pay a re-test fee.

If the car returns within 10 working days, you will have to pay a partial MOT retest fee. In all other cases, the charge for a retest is the same as a full test.

To appeal against an MOT failure you will require a VT17 form from the MOT test centre. If your appeal is successful you will receive part or your entire MOT test fee back. In the meantime, you should not have a repairs carried out on your vehicle as this could affect your appeal.

All MOT tests are recorded, if a vehicle passes a VT20 pass certificate is issued, this will last for one year. If a vehicle fails an MOT a VT30 failure document is issued.