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MOT and your car safety: What you need to know

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Your MOT and the safety of your vehicle are inextricably intertwined.

MOTs are a vital safety check for your vehicle
MOTs are a vital safety check for your vehicle

The MOT test – the brainchild of the then Ministry of Transport, now known as the Ministry for Transport – was introduced in 1960 for two reasons: firstly, as more and more people obtained licences and bought cars, lorries and other vehicles for work or leisure, the roads were becoming dangerously overcrowded, and secondly, because of the very high incidence of accidents on those roads which was deemed to high to be caused purely by that overcrowding.

The test seeks to ensure that any vehicle on the road is safe to be there. The first tests were optional, performed on vehicles older than 10 years old, and only looked at three things: brakes, lights and steering. Even with such scanty criteria, more than half of the vehicles that were put forward failed the test!

Over time, more and more items were added to the list of things to be checked, and the age of the vehicle when it was given its first test was brought down to three years old – four years in Ireland. The test now looks at over twenty-five features of the car, ranging from the driver's field of vision to the security and legibility of the number plate. What all these features have in common is that they are designed to make the vehicle more roadworthy and safer on the UK's roads.

What the MOT test does not do, however, is decide if the car is in good working order. The engine’s emissions are tested, but not whether the engine is running well or on the point of breaking down.

In short, a car with an MOT could very well fail suddenly. But, this MOT'd vehicle, breaking down in traffic, will be able, thanks to those safety features, to indicate its distress, be clearly seen by other road users, move to the side of the road, and stop relatively safely to await roadside assistance. Many people think that a current or recent MOT means that the vehicle is freshly serviced and in good running order. This is not quite the case!

Combining your MOT with a service ensures you enjoy the best of both of these worlds: road safety and reliable running, so why not give yourself the peace of mind of knowing that your vehicle is both legally compliant and in great condition by remembering to check out MOT in London at DAT Tyres’ website here? It does not take long at all, and soon you will be back on the road, safe and secure in the knowledge that you are doing your bit to keep yourself and other road users safe and free from harm.

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