What Are MOT Advisory Notes?

By: John Tucker

Most drivers already know that once a car becomes three years old, it then requires an annual MOT . The multiple MOT checks that the tester will perform on your vehicle ensures that vital elements are working correctly. They also help establish whether the car is safe to drive on the road for you and other road users.

At the end of the test, your car will either pass the MOT test, or it will fail. Even if it does pass, your tester may draw your attention to advisory notes on the MOT test certificate.

MOT advisory notes let you know that there are things that may soon need fixing on your car, but that they are not currently serious enough to cause your car to fail its MOT. You should pay attention to these notes and take the appropriate steps to get the issues fixed as soon as you can.

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Common advisory notes

Your MOT tester can issue advisories on MOT tests covering any area of the 22-point MOT test inspection process. So you could find an advisory note about your exhaust, brakes, steering and suspension, even your doors and windows.

However, one of the most common areas covered is your car’s tyres. That’s because, although the tread depth of each tyre may be above the legal limit of 1.6mm, your tester may realise that this depth could erode beneath that legal limit before the next test is due.

If this is the case, your MOT advisory information will probably inform you of this and recommend that your tyres are changed. This is done to ensure your car has the best chance of passing its next MOT test and also to keep you and other road users safe.

As your car becomes older, it isn’t unusual for your MOT test report to contain more and more MOT advisory notes. General wear and tear can impact almost every area of your car, from wear to your exhaust and brakes, to bodywork damage and corrosion.

Incredibly, over 30 million MOT advisory notes are issued every year. Most of these related to potential faults and future wear and tear on tyres. However, there are generally five types of MOT advisory note issued. These are:

Degree of wear: This gives the motorist at least a ‘heads up’ if an item has only just passed the MOT standard. It usually applies to tyre wear, disc pad thickness, wear in steering and suspension joints, etc.

Corrosion: It can often be difficult to accurately assess corrosion, which is why your MOT tester might advise of ‘extensive surface corrosion’, ‘repair coated in underseal’, or some other caveat providing evidence of the current situation.

Inspection difficulties: This usually relates to plastic covers that might be concealing ‘testable items’, and other problems that make it difficult or impossible to inspect an MOT testable component.

Non-Testable Items: If the car is road tested, your tester may spot an additional problem with the clutch, or the gearbox or some other component not currently covered by the MOT. For your own safety, this needs to be reported.

Quirks and foibles: Your car might have a dent on a wing or an area of corrosion on the door or boot. These issues might not be serious enough to make your car fail its MOT, but your inspector may still report them as MOT advisory information.

What should you do if you see an MOT advisory?

Although you are under no legal obligation to take any action as a result of the MOT advisory codes, it could be dangerous to ignore them.

Remember, each advisory note is issued by an experienced and highly-trained MOT Inspector. Their knowledge and opinion should be respected. So if they’ve spotted a potential issue or problem with an area of your car, your car could be in danger of becoming unsafe.

Advisory notes are also recorded as part of the MOT, so if you have plans to sell your vehicle, potential buyers could access this info. If you haven’t addressed any of the advisories on the MOT this could reduce the sale price of your car – or at least give potential buyers a reason to haggle hard.

To ensure that your car receives the best possible MOT Test inspection, always take it to an authorised DVSA MOT testing centre. All Stoneacre branches are full DVSA authorised and can carry out a comprehensive MOT test on any make and model of vehicle, whatever its age.

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