Know the MoT test and what you can do in advance

[]from: Don’t leave everything in the hands of the mechanic at MoT time

First and foremost, associate yourself with the new checklist for items that are now inspected and have to be of a standard in line with EU legislation. There is a brief outline and further link in our article New inclusions on LCV MoT could cost a packet explaining additional items on the mechanic’s clipboard and why they have come about for your further reference.

With the advance in electronic engine management, the MoT for the old Austin Allegro wouldn’t even cut the mustard; the new aspects on the test are designed to address that issue and ensure that you don’t conk out half way to Scarborough and have to rely on your breakdown cover or van insurance breakdown to get you out of the pickle.

Get a grip on the things you can affect, starting with your tyres. If you don’t know, the minimum tread (the height from the wall of the tyre to the top of the tread) is 1.6mm. At this time of year, especially in The Highlands of Scotland and by law in some EU member states, drivers may be sporting winter tyres; if you have those fitted because they reduced your van insurance quote, the tread should be no less than 3.0mm.

You should regularly check the depth of tread as a matter of course, even in summer. If you are caught with four bald tyres, you would get 12 points on your license (automatic disqualification, in usual circumstances) and a fine of up to £2,500! And the effect on your van insurance upon your return to driving would be astronomical, so you’d be paying the price year on year, thereafter, for some time.

One of our tips for winter last week was keeping your head- and tail-lights free from snow and sludge. For MoT purposes, make sure that they are working at all! As well as your main beam, check your fogs, hazards, indicators and brake – anything that’s designed to light up on your vehicle to alert other drivers will be tested and failed if found to be dysfunctional.

And lastly, your windscreen. If you know you’ve had a chip in it for a while, get it fixed. As the advert states, if you have fully comprehensive van insurance, it need not cost you a penny. At MoT, if the mechanic deems it too big, you may have to replace the whole thing! Oh – and the wipers, too. They need to keep your windshield clean and new blades are cheap enough to replace and simple enough to fit. A trip to your local auto-supply store to pick some up may save you having to take a re-test.

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