The MOT looks at some important items on your car to see that they meet key legal requirements at the time of test.
You can't check all of these yourself, but you can check the simple ones like lights, tyres etc.
The body and vehicle structure- Is free from excessive corrosion or damage in specific areas and there are no sharp edges likely to cause injury.
The fuel System- Has no leaks and the fuel cap fastens and seals securely. The fuel cap will need to be opened so be sure the key is available.
The exhaust emissions- The vehicle meets the requirements for exhaust emissions, dependant on the age and fuel type of the vehicle.
The exhaust system - Is secure, complete, without serious leaks and silences effectively.
The seat belts - All belts installed are checked for type, condition, operation and security. All compulsory seat belts must be in place.
The seats - The front seats are secure. Front and rear backseats can be secured in the upright position
The doors - Latch securely in closed position. Front doors should open from inside and outside the vehicle. Rear doors may need to be opened to gain access to testable items.
The mirrors - The minimum numbers are on the vehicle, their condition and security.
Load security - Boot or tailgate can be secured in the closed position.
The brakes - Their condition, operation and performance (efficiency test). Note the removal of the road wheels is not part of the test.
The tyres and wheels - Their condition, security, size, type and tread depth. Spare tyres are not inspected. More Info
The registration plates - Their condition, security, characters correctly formed and spaced. More Info
The lights - Their condition, operation and security. Headlamps for aim.
The bonnet - Securely latches in the closed position.
The wipers and washers - Operate to give the driver a clear view ahead.
The windscreen - Its condition and the driver’s view of the road. More info
The horn - Operates correctly and is of a suitable type.
The steering and suspension - Are of a satisfactory condition and operation.
Tow bar- All components will fail if insecure, fractured or excessively worn, corroded or damaged.
The vehicle identification number (VIN)- Is on vehicles first used on or after 1 August 1980. Not more than one different VIN is displayed except on multistage build vehicles.
Information courtesy of Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA).