What The Results Of Your MOT Mean

Jack Dreyer | Friday 1st April 2022 3:00pm

MOT test certificate

Your vehicle will either pass or fail its MOT.

If you pass your MOT, you’ll get a certificate, and the result will be recorded in the MOT database. If you fail your MOT, this will be because the test centre discovered major or dangerous faults. This may mean that you legally cannot drive your car until they’re fixed.

So, it is important to know exactly what to do with your MOT results — pass or fail — so that you can get back on the road safely in no time and make the most of this annual assessment.

MOT: The categories and their meanings

Is your MOT due? If so, be prepared and learn about the different categories used to classify the results of an MOT test in the UK. Let’s explore them below.


If an item comes back as ‘dangerous’, it’s a fail. This means the item presents an immediate risk to your safety and the safety of others. You cannot drive your vehicle again until this issue has been fixed.


A major defect is also a fail. Major defects aren’t as serious as dangerous ones, however, they may affect the safety of your vehicle and put yourself, and others, at risk. Your major defect should be repaired immediately.

If you have a major fault, you may be able to drive your vehicle away if it’s roadworthy. Check GOV UK guidance for more information.


You can pass your MOT with a minor defect. Minor defects present no immediate risk to you, the environment, or other drivers. Although you’ll still pass, you should repair a minor defect as soon as possible.


If you see an advisory, this simply means that while there’s no immediate issue or risk, an item could become dangerous in the future. Think of an advisory as a warning. Monitor your advisory closely, and carry out repairs if necessary.


A pass category means that your vehicle has met the legal requirements to be roadworthy. Your vehicle is safe to drive, but continue to maintain and monitor it to ensure it’s safe.

MOT failure: The common vehicle faults.

Whether they’re minor, major or dangerous, the same faults crop up time and time again during MOT checks. These areas suffer neglect quite often at the hands of British drivers and could do with a lot more TLC.

Browse the list below and make sure that you pay extra attention to these areas to avoid MOT failure or advisories:

  • Suspension issues
  • Faulty tyres
  • Faulty brakes
  • Lights and/or signalling issues
  • Lack of power steering fluid
  • Missing or faulty airbags
  • Non-retractable seat belts
  • Non-visible or legible number plates

If you’re worried about any of these areas causing a failure on your vehicle’s MOT, book in for a free Vehicle Safety Check today.

Nearside vs. offside

If you’re a new driver, getting your first MOT back can be daunting, and you may not understand all of the terminology used. Two of the most misconstrued terms amongst newer drivers are ‘nearside’ and ‘offside’.


If you see ‘nearside’ (sometimes N/S) in your MOT, this is referring to the passenger side of your vehicle. The nearside is always on the left. Therefore, if a problem has been identified with your nearside front tyre, this would be the front tyre on the left-hand side of your vehicle.


Therefore, offside (sometimes O/S) is the driver's side of the vehicle. This is always the right side. If you have an issue with your rear offside tyre, this is the back tyre on the driver’s side of the vehicle.

Browse our range of premium tyres if yours need replacing after your MOT.

The bottom line on MOT results

If you’re a new driver, MOTs can be daunting. Luckily, Kwik Fit has a range of online guidance to help you navigate them. From pre-MOT checks you can complete at home, to advice on driving with no MOT, we’ve got you covered.

As always, if you have any questions, contact your nearest Kwik Fit centre and our technicians will be happy to help.

Any facts, figures and prices shown in our blog articles are correct at time of publication.

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