Altrincham MOT Centre
Approved MOT test garage
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MOT facts

A lot of MOT failures can be avoided by performing a few simple checks before coming to the test.


Tyres should have 1.6mm or more tread depth across 75% of their width.
You should also replace any tyres that are visibly damaged or deteriorated and check that the tyre pressure is correct.

TIP: If you don’t have a tyre gauge to test the tread use the edge of a 20p coin – if the rim around the edge of the coin is smaller than the tread level you’re OK!


Check that all of the lights are working, clean and the correct colour: headlights (white), rear lights (red), sidelights (white), brake lights (red), indicators (yellow), hazard lights (yellow) and lights for number plates (white).

TIP: If lights flicker when you tap them, the bulbs probably need tightening up or replacing.


Wiper blades need to be clean, intact and to not leave smears on the screen which will obscure the driver’s view.

TIP: If your wipers have picked up a lot of grease from the road that’s smearing the window, give them a wipe over with some white vinegar.


The windscreen needs to allow the driver a clear view – if there are any chips over 10mm in size in the area directly above the steering wheel (top to bottom of the window), this is likely to cause an MOT failure. Elsewhere on the windscreen, the limit is 40mm.Screenwash should be be topped up and working properly.

TIP: If the washer jet is a bit weak, wiggle a pin in the nozzle to see if that clears it.


There must be at least two rear view mirrors or indirect vision devices (cameras) fitted with a clear view towards the rear of the vehicle. One of these must be fitted to the offside (driver’s side).

Doors and bonnet

Make sure all doors and the bonnet can be opened and that they close again properly. Front and rear doors need to be opened from both inside and outside. Back doors only need to be opened from the outside.


A few of the most frequently asked questions about MOTs.

“I can’t remember my MOT expiry date, can you tell me?”

We can, but we will have to produce a duplicate test certificate, for which there will be a fee.

You will need a certificate if you are selling the car, but if you simply need to know the expiry date to make sure you are still legal, you can find this out for free at You will need your vehicle registration number and the reference number from your V5C (logbook).

“My MOT has expired – can I still drive my car?”

The only time you are permitted to drive once the MOT is expired is when driving to a prebooked MOT test.

If you do this, please provide us with your registration number when making your test appointment so that, if you are pulled over, we can confirm that you were on your way to us.

“I’ve lost my MOT certificate – can I get a new one?”

Yes, you can. You will need to provide your registration number and the reference number from your V5C (logbook). With that, we can print a duplicate, which costs £5.

“How long does the MOT take? Can I wait while you do it?”

The test takes around 45 minutes. You are welcome to wait if you would like to; we have a waiting room and viewing area.

“What happens if the car fails the MOT”

You have 10 working days (which works out as two weeks, since weekends are not counted) to sort out any repairs and bring the vehicle back for a free retest. A retest only covers the failure points so may only take a few minutes. If you can’t make it within the 2 weeks, we have to perform another full test at the full test rate.

You can legally drive the vehicle before its retest as long as the original MOT has not expired.

“I don’t want to end up with a big repair bill”

We don’t want you to either! As an independent MOT station we provide fair and honest MOTs. 

We will contact you to discuss any remedial works required and you are under no obligation to have the repairs carried out by ourselves.