Drivers are being urged to carry out this 20p check on their car to help save them hundreds of pounds on costly MOT bills. 

Motorists know that an MOT can cost a fair bit more than the initial test - especially if drivers don't prepare their car ahead of time.

One such check, drivers should be doing is using a 20 pence piece to check the tread depth of their tyres.

Additionally, the experts at Absolute Reg have provided seven simple checks you should be completing on your vehicle to help you dodge potentially hefty repair bills.

Although the initial maximum cost for a car MOT is £54.85, owners must pay for hefty repairs, retests and labour costs if a vehicle fails.

Since the costs for a single replacement tyre alone can be as high as £250, it might be worth saving this article somewhere for when your dreaded annual MOT rolls around.

What to check before your MOT

These are seven things you need to check before your MOT, according to the motoring experts at Absolut Reg.

Tyre tread depth

The legal tread limit for tyres is 1.6mm, and motorists can check if tyres are sufficient by putting a 20p coin into the main tread grooves.  

If the outer rim of the 20p is visible when performing the test, the tyres should be replaced ahead of the MOT.

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Tyre pressure

Underinflated tyres could fail an MOT, so ensure they are at the recommended pressure, which should be on a sticker on the bodywork or in the vehicle handbook.


All car lights must be working for a vehicle to pass the test, including the headlamps, registration lights, indicators, parking lights and registration plate bulbs.

Ensure they are replaced before the test if they are blown, and consider tightening or replacing any which are flickering. 

Fluid levels

Pop the bonnet and ensure all fluid like the brake reservoir, screen wash and oil is topped up to sufficient levels. 


All seat belts will be inspected, so damaged or frayed seat belts that don’t work properly must be replaced as they are an important safety component which is thoroughly checked. 

Windscreen cracks

Damage to a windscreen larger than 10mm in front of the driver, and 40mm outside the area, will lead to a test fail. Ensure cracked or chipped windscreens are replaced before inspection.


Make sure the fuel tank has been filled up because MOT testers can turn away vehicles with an empty tank, or if the fuel light is on. 

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Jake Smith, director of Absolute Reg, said: “MOTs can work out much more expensive than the initial test cost if motorists don’t prepare their vehicle beforehand. 

“With the cost of living crisis and rising fuel and insurance costs, driving is expensive enough as it is,  so it is important motorists know how to keep costs down in this annual test. 

“Simple checks beforehand can help keep repair bills down and get vehicles through the test without hefty charges. 

“Ensuring tyre tread depth is at the legal limit with the coin test and replacing flickering or blown bulbs will save a lot of time and money on test day.”