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Does the car need to be empty for the MOT test?

If you spend a lot of time in your car or have family, then you probably have a lot of things permanently residing in the salon and the boot. Here we will look at some items and explain whether they can be left in your car

Driver's seat in the car

Can you have people in the car during the MOT test?

The mechanic will need to inspect the car inside and out which involves use of repair shop equipment. You and your passengers will not be allowed to stay in the car.

Can you have pets in the car while the MOT test is being done?

While it may not be illegal to leave a pet in the car, it is illegal to mistreat or neglect an animal.

The MOT can take a while to get done and your car may not be the first one of the number of vehicles being tested. The mechanic will perform various checks which may distress the animal. Pets can prevent the checks from being carried out. You should not leave pets in the car that's being MOT Tested.

Can you leave your belongings in the car going for an MOT test?

There are certain items that should be ok to leave inside the car that's having an MOT test, however you should remove anything that obstructs the view of the road or prevents the vehicle from being inspected. You should present the car with all the seats upright and headrests present. The boot should be mostly empty so the mechanic can check the structural integrity of the vehicle.

Child car seat installed in the car

List of items to leave or remove from the car before the MOT test

Item What to do Why
Air freshener Remove Air fresheners can restrict view of the road or get in the way when using controls.
Dash cam it depends If the dashcam is mounted in a way that does not obstruct the view of the road and there are no wires hanging out — it should be ok to leave it in the car during the MOT test.

If the dashcam power cable is visible then it's a good idea to remove the cable and detach the dashcam before the test.
Child car seat Remove The child car seat will result in an advisory as the seatbelt won't be tested.
Cushions Remove A travel cusion on the seat may not cause any issues, but these are often kept at the back window and can obscure rear view. Its best to remove them or put them somewhere out of the way (ie seat pocket or the boot)
Toys Remove Depending on the size and location these can get in the way or obstruct view. Its best to hide or remove any toys.
Phone mount Remove Most phone mounts take up some of the view of the road so its best to remove these for the MOT test.
Umbrella Keep Umbrellas should not cause issues when stored in glove compartments, pockets or the boot. If you have a cane umbrella, make sure its in the boot.
Misc items Remove Its best that any personal items are out of the way. Put them in the glove box or door/seat pockets.
Wallet/money etc Remove Its a good idea to remove any valuables from the car. You never know who may be able to get access to the car while its at a testing station.
Shoes/boots Keep it reasonable A pair of boots in the boot shouldn't cause any issues.
Food Remove Its best to unload your grocery shopping before the test as it may obstruct access to parts of your vehicle. On the other hand a bottle of water in the cup holder and a sandwich should not cause any problems.

We hope you find this information useful. Be sensible about any belongings you leave in the car and be respectful to the mechanic who will have to get around any items you leave in the car in order to carry out the checks.