What is Checked on a Land Rover MOT?

When your MOT comes around there is every chance you will be concerned that your Land Rover may not pass the in-depth scrutiny it is about to undergo. You want your vehicle to be safe, to be compliant, to be roadworthy. And only with a comprehensive MOT will you be safe in the knowledge that it fulfils those criteria. A standard Land Rover MOT can include an inspection of over 150 safety-related and emission systems.

As Land Rover specialists, we understand the desire you have to keep your Land Rover in its best possible condition so in this month’s blog, we have taken a look at the Land Rover MOT to show you what it involves and how best to prepare your vehicle for it.

What does a Land Rover MOT cover?

An MOT on your Land Rover, regardless of model, will include approximately 150 checks on your vehicle ranging from brakes to bodywork and from seats to steering. Whilst a failing on one part may make the Land Rover no longer roadworthy, failings on others can so it is wise to ensure you check everything before booking your vehicle in.

The MOT will include, as its core checks, all aspects of the below list but some Land Rover service companies may carry out additional checks whilst others may not be so stringent. All though must abide by the list of checks set out by the DVSA to ensure a full and compliant MOT is carried out.

On your Land Rover, these checks will include:

  • Electrical equipment such as brake lights, headlights and indicators.
  • Tyres including both their tread depth and general condition.
  • Suspension, checking for any corrosion and wear as well as the condition of the shock absorbers.
  • Brakes will be checked for condition, efficiency and general condition.
  • The exhaust and the emissions will be checked for leaks and compliance with regulations.
  • Steering will undergo an examination to ensure it is in good condition and works correctly.
  • Seat belts and seats will be inspected for safety and damage.
  • Mirrors, windscreen and wipers will be checked for overall condition and functionality.
  • A check to see that the VIN (vehicle identification number) is displayed will also be carried out.

What can cause my Land Rover to fail an MOT?

The safe running of your Land Rover is of paramount importance and an MOT will ensure that all safety-critical components are as they should be.


When testing your brakes, the MOT tester will place your vehicle on rollers to check that the vehicle decelerates properly and that the brake balance is correct. Where ABS is fitted, the ABS warning light must activate when checked. Worn pedal rubber can often be a highly regarded fault and the handbrake must be able to hold the vehicle firmly. The pads and discs are also checked as well as the brake cables. Faults with any of these could lead to an MOT failure.


This may appear as a slightly odd inclusion, but it makes sense. Your Land Rover may be enjoyed off-road and as a result, get a few more scratches and knocks than you would like. This can lead to sharp edges. Such a thing can be flagged by an MOT as the sharpness could cause injury to pedestrians.

Sharp edges aside, should rust have set in, you could find your Land Rover failing an MOT. If it has affected the steering or other safety-related parts of your Land Rover, your vehicle will fail and, in some cases, if rust is within 30cm of these important parts, you could also see a fail issued.


Your horn is a vital part of the vehicle safety features and if it doesn’t work or works but is not suitably loud enough to alert other road users then you could fail. You should also steer clear from any tuneful horns as that will be frowned upon.


Your lights are extremely important and if they are not working you will have a fail. This will include headlights, indicators, side lights, brake lights, tail lights and rear fog lights. If though, your Land Rover is a pre-1986 model, the rear fog lights are not required.

Exhaust and emissions

Depending on the age of your Land Rover may determine how the check is carried out. Emission limits vary depending on the age of your vehicle and this means newer vehicles face much stricter standards. If smoke is seen coming from the exhaust, there is every chance of failure.


Doors will be checked to see if they can open safely from both inside and outside. If not, you could see a failure due to this being an important safety feature.


Steering obviously plays a large part in your driving and if the steering column shows lots of wear or the wheel seems severely damaged, you could see your Land Rover fail an MOT. Bearing, bolts and joints will also be checked to ensure your wheel operates exactly how it should. If your Land Rover has power steering the vehicle is tested with the engine running.

Wheels and tyres

Insufficient tread or incorrect tyres can result in an immediate MOT fail. There is some wiggle room with tread depth and should your Land Rover be close to the 1.6mm limit you will get an advisory notice that they need changing. If they exceed the limit, you will not be allowed to drive your vehicle until the tyres are replaced. You should also ensure that all four tyres are the same size and there are no bulges or cuts to them.

Windows and mirrors

If your windscreen exhibits sufficient damage, your Land Rover will fail its MOT. Any chips or cracks must be less than 10mm across if within the areas the wipers cover. Up to 40mm is acceptable outside this area.

Vehicle Identification Number

If the vehicle identification number is not present your vehicle could fail. It must be on the V5 document and shown clearly on the vehicle.

Seats and seatbelts

Seatbelts are a legal requirement so should they have been removed or altered in any way, you will fail your Land Rover MOT.

How to prepare your Land Rover for its MOT

You can make the route to an MOT pass much easier if you complete a few things in advance. Whilst many issues may only be seen by a trained mechanic, there are others that you can quickly rectify.

Clean number plates are always a good start, if they can’t be read you might fail your MOT. At this stage, you should also consider a spring clean of your car. An MOT tester may refuse to check your vehicle if it is full of rubbish and overly dirty.

Once the internal and external of the Land Rover are clean, run all your lights through a test. You will need them all working to pass. Whilst at the wheel operating the lights, consider a check on your windscreen wipers too. Make sure they function correctly and then check for any damage to them.

We mentioned tyre tread earlier on and a quick check with a 20p can go some way to showing you if yours are ok. The outer edge of a 20p is approximately 2mm and you need at least 1.6mm for your tyres to be deemed safe. Put the 20p within the tread to give you a quick but vital assessment.

Then give all the fluids a top-up, this will include brake fluid and screen wash. A safe bet is to make sure any liquids that your car uses are topped up sufficiently. A check that all mirrors are secure almost has you ready to book the MOT, simply give your horn a test ensuring it is loud enough and make sure that the VIN on your bodywork matches the one on your documents.

You should now be as prepared as possible.

Are any Land Rovers exempt from MOTs?

In most cases all Land Rovers will require an MOT, however, should you own one that is over 40 years old, it will not require an MOT unless you have made substantial changes to it.

How often should I get an MOT for my Land Rover?

Your Land Rover will need an MOT every year. If you have recently purchased a vehicle, you will be able to see the dates of its most recent MOT and when the next one is due either on the paperwork for the vehicle or via the government website. If your Land Rover is brand new though, you will not need an MOT until the vehicle is 3 years old.

It is important to be aware that as soon as your MOT has expired, you will no longer be able to drive your Land Rover legally unless it is to the MOT you have booked.

What are the costs for a Land Rover MOT?

Prices can vary for MOTs depending on where you plan to have it done however the government have set out a maximum price that can be charged. For 2023 that is set at £54.85.


Booking a Land Rover MOT with Roberts Country Vehicles is easy. Our team of Land Rover experts are on hand to help you get a slot that suits your needs.

With the estimated time of an MOT taking just under 2 hours, you can wait for us to get your vehicle road ready too should that work better for you. Alternatively, should you be in a rush and need to be on the road sooner, we have a fleet of courtesy cars available too.

Pre MOT you may need some additional work carried out to make sure your vehicle passes and at RCV we also offer Land Rover wheel alignment to further enhance the safety of your Land Rover.

Despite being based in Kent, our competitive pricing – up to 40% off main dealer prices! – and friendly service has helped endear us to Land Rover owners from all over the country. We pride ourselves on being seen as premier London Land Rover specialists and welcome owners from near and far. Contact us today to find out more.