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Do You Need a Spare Wheel to Pass an MOT?

Updated July 19, 2017

First established in 1960, the Ministry of Transport test (MOT) is a legal requirement for all cars aged three years or older that are operating on British roads. It is overseen by the Vehicle and Operator Services Angency, and it is designed to ensure that the car meets a minimum requirement for roadworthiness.

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Spare Wheels

The MOT does not require a car to have a spare wheel. Instead of spare wheels, many cars are built with run-flat tires, or they carry cans of foam that are used to inflate punctured tires. It is also perfectly legal to have nothing at all.


A commonly held belief in Britain is that if a car does carry a spare wheel, then this wheel must meet the minimum standard of tread depth required of the vehicle's other tires. This is untrue. As pointed out by the direct.gov website, "spare tyres are not inspected."

Tire Rules

Direct.gov stipulates that the sections of the MOT test that refer to tires focus on their "condition, security, size, type and tread depth."

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About the Author

Ed Hill has been writing press releases and news pieces since 1999. His work has appeared in "Wessex Scene," "Show House," "Media Week" and other trade titles pertinent to his professional advertising experience. He holds a Master of Arts in English from Southampton University.

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