The Ministry of Transport test, better known as the MOT test, is an annual examination of any auto vehicle over three years old in the UK that is used on public roads. The examination covers automobile safety, whether the vehicle is roadworthy, and exhaust emissions. Vehicles that pass are issued a certification to declare them safe for use on the public roads until the following year. There are various classes of the MOT test, and scooters and other small moped bikes up to 199cc (cubic centimetres) in engine size are in Class I.
All lights must work correctly, with the headlight working on both main and dip beam, shining directly in front on main beam and shining slightly lower and to the left on dip beam. The indicator and hazard lights must function properly and flash at a steady rate. All lights should be free of chips or cracks, and scooters, like all bikes, must have a red reflector bolted onto the rear end of the bike.
The highest fail rate for scooters during MOTs involves lights, but this is closely followed by steering. There will be thorough checks done to ensure that the handlebars and grips are securely mounted and fastened, and that the steering can be performed fully and freely without any drag or resistance. The handlebars should not touch the fuel tank when fully turned to lock, even when the front wheel is off the ground.
Brakes are an important element of the examination, as bad brakes could lead to a catastrophe on the road. Before putting their bike in for MOT, scooter owners should check that their brakes are safe by inspecting the hoses for any leaks or cracks, and making sure the brake discs are fastened and the pads are not worn down.
Tires often cause problems for many owners during MOTs, but these problems are very easy to avoid. Owners should ensure their tires are not worn down, as they will be examined for thread depth and condition, as well as having the bearings and alignment checked. Spoked wheels will be checked for broken spokes and cast wheels for cracks.
The front and rear suspension of scooters will also be examined, as well as the condition of the exhaust, footrests and mudguards, and even the functioning of the horn. When all the requirements have been met, the vehicle will be declared as safe for the road. Scooters that fail the test will not be allowed on the road until the required changes and improvements have been made.