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  5 Car MOT myths

A few common misconceptions about car MOTs. Also see my 15 point pre MOT checklist

1. The spare tyre must be legal

The spare tyre is not checked as part of the MOT (unless it is actually fitted to the vehicle). However, there’s not much use in having a spare tyre that would be illegal if you fitted it. It’s also worth pointing out that a ‘temporary spare’ or ‘space saver’ cannot be fitted to the car for an MOT.

2. The front fog lights must work

Front fog lights are not a legal requirement, which is why they aren’t fitted to all cars. If you’ve got a front fog bulb out, don’t panic, your car won’t fail the MOT for it. However the rear one must work.

3. A dead reverse light is an MOT fail

The reverse light is not part of the test but in the interests of other road users, you might want to make sure it works. It also helps if you’re reversing up to a wall.

4. You can drive to an MOT without insurance

Your car must be insured to be used on the road. You can however drive to the MOT station if the road tax has expired (because you’ll need a valid MOT to be able to buy road tax). The MOT needs to be pre-booked and don’t think about making any detours to visit Aunt Ethel on the way.

5. You can't drive your car if it fails the MOT

Not strictly the case. If your car still has a valid MOT (i.e. the old MOT hasn’t expired) then you’re free to drive the car away. However, if the car is deemed un-roadworthy by the tester, then it would be illegal to drive it, even with a current MOT.


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