If your car is three years old it has to go through an annual roadworthiness check, called the MoT.
This involves checking all sorts of things from worn suspension and steering components to whether or not the lights, wipers and washers work.
The test costs nearly £55 – although you can almost always get it cheaper — but you can save cash by making sure your car gets through first time. Many garages, however, will do a free retest if they’re given the job of putting things right.
You can save some cash by making sure your car gets through first time
While we’re not suggesting you should try to check everything yourself, there are lots of things you can check to make sure your car doesn’t fail on some stupidly trivial point.
Start by making sure the washers and wipers clear the screen effectively, that the tyres have enough tread on them and that they’re also up to the correct pressure at each corner. Next check all of the lights, including the brake lights, indicators and fog lights; when the latter is switched on there should be a warning light on the dash – it’s the same when you’re on main beam.
Next check that you don’t have to pull the handbrake all the way up before it bites, and that you don’t have to press the brake pedal all the way to the floor before the brakes work. Then make sure none of the glass is damaged, that the seat belts aren’t frayed and that each front door can be opened and closed from inside as well as outside.
Next make sure that the horn works, that the number plates aren’t damaged and that the ABS warning light doesn’t stay on once the engine is running. If you’re mechanically-minded, there’s loads more stuff you can check and even fix if you want your car to fly through the MoT.
Check the official government website for a comprehensive list of what’s tested during the MoT.