Can you drive a car to an MOT if it isn’t taxed?

Yes, if the appointment is pre-booked and the vehicle is insured. You need an MOT before you can tax a vehicle, so if the MOT has expired you need to be able to get it to an MOT test centre. You should go by the most direct route (i.e. not stop off to do the shopping on the way) and ideally the MOT station should be local to you.

Will my car fail an MOT because the front fog lights don’t work?

No. Front fogs are not part of the MOT and are not checked. The rear fog light must be in working order however

My car has passed but I have ‘advisory’ points – what does this mean?

Advisory points are factors that the tester has found that will need work doing on, normally before the next MOT test. It is a chance for you to rectify the problems before they are so severe that they are dangerous or that they will fail an MOT, and to spread the cost as well.

How can I make sure my car passes its MOT?

Some of the most common MOT failures are small and preventable such as:

  1. Windscreen – is the drivers windscreen damaged and check all wipers working
  2. Lights – are all lights fully working
  3. Tyres – check tyre pressure and tread depth

The rear wiper on my car doesn’t work, will it fail the MOT test?

No. The rear wiper is not checked as part of the MOT.
If your car doesn’t meet the standard required on any of the points tested during an MOT, it will be failed and issued with a ‘refusal of MOT certificate’.

If this happens, you have a couple of options:

Valid MOT

  1. If you need to take your car away from the test centre to carry out necessary repairs, your existing MOT certificate remains valid until its expiry date.
  2. Should your previous MOT have expired, you are legally entitled to take your vehicle away to have any faults fixed, as well as onwards to a pre-arranged MOT retest.


  1. If your vehicle fails but remains at the test centre for repair and is retested within 10 working days, the retest is provided for free.
  2. Similarly, if a partial retest is required (e.g. on a failure related to doors, mirrors, other bodywork or minor operational components), and the vehicle is taken back to the same test centre within 24 hours, a free retest may also be provided.
  3. If a car is taken away from the test centre to have repairs carried out, and is returned for a retest within 10 working days, then a partial retest fee is applied

Myth – A broken nearside rear fog lamp lens showing any white light to the rear should fail.

Fact – The check of rear fog lamps only applies to the one mandatory rear fog lamp that must be fitted to the centre or offside of the vehicle.  Therefore, a nearside rear fog lamp is not testable and can’t be failed for any reason in section 1.3 of the manual.

The Spare Tyre Must Be Legal to pass my MOT

Unless the spare tyre is currently fitted to the vehicle it isn’t checked as part of the MOT. However, let’s be honest, if your spare tyre isn’t up to scratch you probably don’t want to be driving around for too long before you get it sorted!



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Truro MOT Centre

Your MOT Specialist

Truro MOT Centre Ltd is the newest test station in the city of Truro