MOT advisory guide to increase road safety and avoid unneccessary spending

Warnings set out by Ministry of Transport

Using online checks when buying a used vehicle


In this guide, you’ll learn about MOT advisories and how to check your vehicle is safe, legal and roadworthy.

What is this check for?

Relates to buying or maintaining a vehicle

1. Check advisory notes

Get a free MOT advisory check

An instant check to see full MOT history dating back to 2005. Includes all failed and advisory checks

2. Useful links

Before a test: MOT inspection checklist

MOT expiry date: MOT status

CarVeto mot advisory check

Definition of an advisory


Advisory notes are included as part of a standard UK MOT test. They provide advice and fair warning of parts that will need fixing soon.

Advisory notes are raised at the discretion of the tester. Each note will vary in its importance but is not attributed to a failed test result.


As each component of a vehicle is examined it is given a pass, fail or advisory note. Should your vehicle incur one or more advisory notes, the vehicle may still pass its test.


Advisories are possible for any part tested. Some examples include:


  • Tyres
  • Brake pads
  • Brake discs
  • Leaking power steering rack
  • Traction control arm bushes
  • Bulbs


Any part can become an advisory note


Some vehicle types are more prone to ‘part specific’ wear and tear issues.



  • Mini One’s tend to suffer with leaking power steering racks
  • Ford Fiesta’s seem to suffer with traction control arm bushes


It’s good practice to check common issues on a make and model you plan to buy.

Advisory checks


Notes are a warning that a vehicle has items that are wearing but not broken or worn to a condition deemed unfit for use.

Advisory notes must NOT be ignored and it is a motorists responsibility to regularly check such parts for excessive or rapid wear.


MOT tests are designed to ensure vehicles aged 3-years old or more are kept is a minimum road-safety condition. Advisory notes allow motorists to keep driving with a view to repairing or replacing parts when needed and before they become illegal.

Advisory to failure


Advisories are likely to become failed items in the proceeding MOT test.

Examples of this include:

  • Tyres
  • Brakes
  • Exhaust (sections)


CarVeto best-practice stipulates advisory tyres and/or brakes are replaced before or at the time of MOT testing.

We suggest this for road safety as the velocity at which these car parts wear are significant. Tyres and brakes are under almost constant pressure whilst the vehicle is moving.


It is helpful to discuss advisory notes with your MOT tester or local mechanic. Understand the potential costs to repair or replace items and which repairs are more important than others.


Frequent advisory notes


As already mentioned, tyres need to be in good condition and able to support safe, legal driving in all weather conditions. Legal limits in the UK are 1.6mm. Modern tyres have nodules to measure tread depth. When the nodules are equal the tread depth, the tyre is nearing its legal limit and must be replaced.

Impacts of driving a vehicle with advisory notes


Despite there being no legal requirements to replace advised car parts, there can be longer-term issues resulting in;


MOT advisory checks when buying a car


You can find out a lot before you buy it. You can run a series of online car checks using the VRM (vehicle registration mark) to see things like:


  1. DVLA mileage check
  2. Theft status
  3. Finance
  4. Write-off status


CarVeto provides customised and detailed MOT history checks that includes all failed and advisory notes from previous tests

This is useful before you buy or even go to check out the car in person.


The existing and preceding MOT history should be looked over, checking for advisory notes:


  • Items that were advised in recent tests may not have been replaced
  • These parts are likely to become MOT failures in the next test.

The owner of the car will be liable for those repair bills.


You can possibly use these issues to negotiate a better price for the vehicle. Alternatively, the existing owner may be willing to have the vehicle retested as part of your purchase.


Consider asking for a new MOT certificate replacement without a list of advisory notes. This is a great way to secure the vehicle with the knowledge that it is in good, roadworthy condition and unlikely to cost too much money to maintain during the next 12-months of motoring.


Use the following link to see a range of articles on MOT components: