Get Your Family Road Trip Ready: Navigating the MOT Checklist

*Collaborative post

Summer is almost upon us and you are probably beginning to think about arranging some road trips for the family: wakeboarding in Basildon before heading on to the coast for fish and chips; to Bracknell to ooh and aah at Windsor or to the Feathers and Fur Falconry Centre to learn a little more about raptors; or to some of the other Berkshire attractions that are not to be missed: Legoland, Beale Wildlife Park and Newbury Racecourse are just three attractions that spring to mind. However, before you start listing itinerary items, there are some things that need your attention first: your car being one. No road trip is enhanced by lengthy breakdowns, so make sure your car is in great condition, insured and MOT-ed up-to-date. Let’s take a quick look at navigating the MOT checklist before you set off on your travels.

Understand What MOT Testing is For

The MOT test was introduced in 1960 when the number of serious accidents on the UK’s new and ever-growing road network got too large for the government to ignore. It was fairly quickly ascertained that the cause of most of the worst accidents were old, poorly maintained cars and vans. The first test just looked at steering, brakes and lights, but gradually the remit of the test has expanded over time, now including things like emissions tests to keep pedestrians and residents living near major roads safe from exhaust toxins. The MOT test is not a peak to which your car should aspire: it is a basic roadworthiness check that every car out on public roads should always meet (with some exemptions) – and it should be repeated every year after the car’s third birthday.

Find the List

The MOT checklist is readily available online – click here to see the current version – and you can access it on your phone or laptop, or print out a copy on paper (do check the latest version every so often, though, as new items are added to the checklist as awareness is raised or technology advances beyond the current test’s range). Read through the checklist carefully, and acquaint yourself with the sorts of things the MOT Inspector will be looking for.

Go Through as Many Points as You Can

While there are some things that you can’t do – checking your emissions; readjusting your suspension or accessing your drive shaft to make sure it’s in good condition, for example – but there are plenty that you can easily check and remedy if there is something astray. For example, making sure your mirrors are in place and properly positioned is just common sense and easy enough to do. So too is making sure your seatbelts are in good working order; ensuring your number plate is in a valid font and firmly attached to your vehicle; and topping up your screen-wash reservoir. In this way, you can make sure that your car is sure to sail through the MOT test.

Make Sure Your MOT is Up-To-Date!

Know your MOT testing schedule. In the main, your car’s registration date is its ‘birthday’ and the date from which the first three, MOT-free, years are counted. Your annual MOT will be due on or before that same date going forward, so once you’ve diarised your first MOT, you can hit ‘repeat annually’ to ensure that you don’t forget in the future. There is no grace period with MOTs: the expiration date is final. However, you can book your MOT for any time in the thirty days prior to your current expiration date without losing the anniversary date, so if your MOT is going to expire while you are exploring beautiful Berkshire, from Bracknell to Basildon and everything in between, you can schedule your MOT in Basildon with Elite Direct to stay legally compliant without losing your anniversary date.

Enjoy Your Road Trip!

Finally: enjoy the trip! Car maintenance can be a constant job, but the perks of having a well-maintained vehicle is that you can pack up the whole family and take off for a while, enjoying peace of mind that your car is in great shape and will get you there and back without stress.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.