MOT tests ensure your car is safe to drive. This blog post will provide you with everything you need to know about MOT tests in the UK. We will discuss an MOT test when you need it, how to prepare your car for an MOT test, and more!
MOT Test: What Is It?
MOT is an abbreviation for ‘Ministry of Transport’. In the UK, an MOT test is an annual vehicle inspection to ensure safety and roadworthiness. If these items are not up to scratch, your car will fail. A qualified mechanic carries out the test at an authorised testing centre.
All cars over three years old must have an MOT certificate. You can get your car MOTed up to a month before its due date, and the certificate will be valid for 12 months. You must get an MOT certificate yearly if your car is over three years old.
The test aims to ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy and free of major problems that might cause harm. The procedure includes a variety of inspections on your automobile, including its tires, brakes, and lights.
The following is the most important information to know about an MOT test:
- This test assesses a vehicle’s safety and roadworthiness, especially its emissions and brakes system.
- It’s required in a car’s third year, and you should do it annually.
- Internal and external checks are included.
- The test only allows visual inspection, and inspectors are not allowed to modify or remove anything on your vehicle, so you must continue to maintain it.
- The test cost is limited to £54.85 (excluding VAT).
Who Can Perform An MOT Test?
Authorised and certified testers conduct an MOT test under the supervision of the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency). To conduct an MOT, all MOT testers must be qualified and certified by the DVSA.
All MOT testers must:
- Be over 18 years old
- Have the right to work in the UK
- Pass an eyesight test (with or without glasses or contact lenses)
- Be qualified to perform MOT tests on the class of vehicles that they want to test.
How Often is an MOT Test Required?
Every year, MOT tests are required for cars over three years old. You may have your car’s MOT tested up to a month before the due date, valid for 12 months. When your car’s MOT test is due, the DVLA will send you a reminder. You cannot renew your vehicle tax until your automobile has passed its MOT test.
A valid MOT certificate is required if you buy a used vehicle. The MOT must inspect it within 28 days of purchase if yours does not. This is why performing a car check before buying a used automobile is essential because it allows you to determine whether or not it has a current MOT certificate.
You may also examine your automobile early if you suspect something is wrong. For example, if your automobile is making unusual noises or isn’t running efficiently, you might want to have it looked at before its next MOT test.
It’s also crucial to remember that if your automobile is more than three years old, it must be examined every six months. The term “interim MOT” refers to this and is designed to keep older automobiles in good working order.
You can check online if you’re unsure when your vehicle’s due for its MOT test. You must enter your car’s registration number to see the date of the next MOT test. You may also sign up for a notification service that will notify you via text or email when your automobile is due for its MOT test. This is a convenient way to keep track of your car’s MOT due date.
What is the cost of an MOT Test?
The cost of an MOT test is limited to £54.85 (excluding VAT). However, if your vehicle fails its MOT test, you will be charged for any repairs required to bring it up to scratch. These costs can vary depending on the severity of the faults.
Why Is The MOT Test Important?
The MOT test is important because it helps ensure your car is safe to drive. It also helps to keep the roads clear of dangerous vehicles. If your car fails its MOT, you must have it repaired before driving it again. This can be expensive and time-consuming, so it is important to ensure your car is in good condition before taking it for its MOT.
When Do You Need An MOT Test?
You need an MOT test when your car is three years old. After that, you need to get an MOT certificate every year. You can get your car tested up to a month before its due date, and the certificate will be valid for 12 months.
What Happens If You Don’t Get An MOT Test?
If you don’t get an MOT test, your car will not be roadworthy, and you will not be able to drive it. This can be dangerous, as well as steep if you are caught driving without a valid MOT certificate.
How Should I Prepare My Car For An MOT Test?
Now that we’ve answered the question, “What is an MOT test?” it’s time to move on to how you can prepare your car for the big day.
Here are a few tips to help you get your car ready for its MOT:
- Clean your car inside and out – A clean car is more likely to pass its MOT than a dirty one. Remove any rubbish from your car’s interior, and give it a good wash and vacuum outside.
- Check your car’s lights – All of your lights must be in working order to pass its MOT. This includes your headlight, brake light, and fog light.
- Check your car’s tyres – Your tyres must be in good condition with sufficient tread depth. They should also be free of any cuts or cracks.
- Check your car’s fluid levels – Make sure your car has enough oil, coolant, and brake fluid.
- Check your car’s horn – Your horn should be loud and clear.
- If you have a used car, getting a complete-service history is beneficial. This will demonstrate that the MOT testers have regularly serviced the vehicle and that it is in excellent shape. Running an MOT check before your car goes for its MOT test can also help establish that it is in good working order since it may display any prior MOT failures.
How To Book An MOT Test?
You can schedule an MOT test up to 28 days in advance. After that, you may log on to the website, phone the company, or visit a local MOT station. The following are some of the locations where you can get your car tested:
- Dealer/franchised service centres: These are linked to a car manufacturer and are the best spot to go if you have challenging repairs or problems. You may also get a courtesy vehicle. Labour costs and manufacturer-based services are typically the most expensive, but your repair cost is not necessarily the most costly.
- Fast repair: The most popular chains, such as Halfords, Kwik Fit, or National, are recognised for providing the quickest repairs possible. They can often service and repair your car. Regarding labour, they typically cost less than the main dealer, although they are still more expensive.
- Independent garage: There are many independent garages, but they all provide low-cost labour. They almost always offer the lowest labour costs if they don’t specialise in a car brand. Some locations give MOTs without repairs.
You’ll also need to supply the following information when scheduling your MOT check:
- Your automobile’s registration number
- Your vehicle’s make and model
- Your contact details
- You must also pick a date and time for your exam.
It’s critical to note that you can’t have your car inspected for the MOT more than a month before it is due. So it’s also important to book your test as early as possible since if you wait too long, you may not be able to get a spot.
What Happens During An MOT Test?
An MOT test checks to see if your car meets road safety and environmental standards. The tester will check your car for issues during an MOT test. In addition, the tester will inspect your overall condition and signs of wear and tear.
Registration plate and VIN (vehicle identification number) – The tester will ensure that your car’s registration plate is legible and that the VIN is present and readable.
Lights, reflectors, and electrical equipment – All lights and reflectors will be inspected, including the headlights, brake lights, fog lights, and indicators. They’ll also inspect the condition of the bulbs and reflectors. In addition, the examiner will test electrical equipment to ensure it is in working order.
Steering and suspension – The tester will check the condition of your car’s steering and suspension, including the shock absorbers, springs, and tyres. They’ll also inspect your car for any signs of excessive wear or tear.
Windscreen, wipers, and washers – The tester will check the condition of your car’s windscreen and ensure that the wipers and washers are in working order. They’ll also inspect the windscreen for any cracks or chips.
Wheels and car tyres – The tester will check the condition of your car’s tyres and ensure that they have the correct pressure. They’ll also inspect the condition of your car’s wheels.
Body, structure, and general items – The tester will check the condition of your car’s body and ensure that there are no signs of rust or damage. They’ll also check the condition of the door locks, seats, and seatbelts.
Under-bonnet items – The tester will check the condition of your car’s engine and ensure there are no leaks or damage. They’ll also inspect the battery, radiator, and hoses.
Brakes – The tester will inspect the brakes, including brake pads, discs, and fluid level. This inspection also looks for any leaks in the brake system.
Exhaust and emissions system – The tester will examine the exhaust and emissions to verify that there are no leaks or damage. They’ll also make sure the car isn’t producing too much smoke.
Fuel system – The tester will inspect the fuel system for leaks and ensure that the gas cap is secure and that all hoses are tight.
Seatbelts – All seatbelts will be double-checked to ensure they are in excellent working order and correctly installed.
Child seats – If you’ve got a kid seat, the tester will verify that it’s correctly installed and meets current safety standards.
The MOT test also contains an ‘advisory notice’ section, in which any concerns that may need attention in the future are highlighted, such as tyres with a tread depth of less than the legal minimum. They’ll also check the car’s mileage to verify that it is correct. These warnings are not defective goods, but it’s worth noting them in case you need to fix anything down the line.
What Would Happen If Your Car Fails Its MOT Test?
There is a good chance that your vehicle will fail the MOT test. If this happens, you will receive a ‘refusal of an MOT certificate.’ This implies that your automobile did not meet the required standards and could not be used on the road until you fixed it.
If your car fails the MOT test, you will be given a “report of failure” that lists all of the issues needing to be addressed. You will have 14 days after receiving this report to have your car fixed and retested. To have the required repairs made, please visit an authorised garage or repair shop. After the work has been completed, the retesting process is free.
If you don’t get your vehicle fixed and retested within 14 days, you’ll have to re-register it and pay for a new MOT certificate. It’s also worth noting that if your automobile fails its MOT test, you won’t be able to renew your vehicle insurance until it’s been fixed and retested.
It’s important to note that you can be fined up to £1000 if your car is found in an unroadworthy condition and you are caught driving it. In addition, if you are involved in an accident while driving a car that has failed its MOT, the insurer may invalidate your insurance. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that your car is in good condition and up to date with its MOT before hitting the road.
If you’re unhappy with how your car has been tested, you can complain to the garage that carried out the test. You can also complain to VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency). You can find more information about the MOT test on the VOSA website.
If I Passed My Test, Do I Need To Get My Car Tested Again Next Year?
If your vehicle passes its MOT test, you will receive an “MOT certificate.” This is valid for a year after the date of the examination. You must keep this document in a secure location since you will need to show it if stopped by the police or if you have to file an insurance claim. You will also get an ‘MOT pass certificate,’ which details all of the inspections performed during the test. This is an excellent document since it may help you track how often your car is serviced and what services were done to it.
You should receive a reminder from VOSA six weeks before your car’s MOT is due. If you do not, you can still get your vehicle tested as long as it is within the 12-month window. It’s important to remember that even if your vehicle passes its MOT test, it does not mean it will stay in good condition for the next year. Maintaining your car and servicing it regularly is essential to ensure it remains roadworthy.
I Missed My MOT Test. What Should I Do?
If you’ve missed your MOT test, you can get your vehicle tested as soon as possible. However, if it has been more than a year since your last MOT test, you will have to re-register your car and pay for a new certificate. Therefore, keeping up with your car’s MOT date is important to avoid penalties.
What Should I Do If I Lost My MOT Certificate?
If you have lost your MOT certificate, you can apply for a replacement by contacting VOSA. You will need to provide them with your car’s registration number and either the last eight digits of its chassis number or the last five digits of its engine number. You will also need to pay a fee of £15.
I hope this guide has provided you with all the information you need about MOT tests in the UK. Don’t forget to run an MOT history check with us before purchasing a used car to ensure it is up to date with its tests. And most importantly, make sure you get your car regularly serviced to avoid any expensive repairs down the road. Thanks for reading!