What is an MOT test?
An MOT is an annual examination of a vehicle that is three years old or more. The MOT tests both the safety of your vehicle and the level of emissions in the exhaust. The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) is responsible for ‘licensing’ both the MOT test station and the MOT tester.
It is your responsibility to ensure that your vehicle is tested every 12 months. Without a valid MOT certificate, you will be unable to renew your road tax and your insurance may be invalid. Having a current MOT certificate is also a legal requirement in the UK.
The importance of an MOT test
The MOT confirms that at the time of the test and without dismantling it, the vehicle meets the minimum acceptable environmental and road safety standards required by law. It doesn’t mean that the vehicle is roadworthy for the length of time the certificate is valid. The MOT certificate is also no guarantee of the general mechanical condition of your vehicle. The test doesn’t cover the condition of the engine, clutch or gearbox.
Your MOT can be done up to 1 month before it is due; this is to give you time to have any repairs done before the old certificate expires.nMost vehicles need their first MOT when they are three years old, then annually.
Simple steps to ensure a smooth MOT test
Below are minor faults that the you can easily have fixed beforehand:
Screen wash not topped up. This basic task takes minutes, so don’t be caught out by it.
The car was dirty or full of clutter. Clear the mess from the boot and cabin and give the windows and mirrors a quick wipe.
A registration plate problem. For example, the plate showed the incorrect type face/spacing, or was dirty or missing altogether. If you have a personalised plate, make sure it follows DVLA rules.
Stickers on the windscreen blocking the driver’s view. Make sure that anything stuck to the windscreen, including tax disc and parking permits, is outside the wipers’ sweep area.
Lit-up warning light on the dashboard. The MOT has included lit-up warning lights since 2012. So make sure you know what lit-up up car warning lights mean and if you have any sort out the underlying problem before the MOT.
Our 6 month interim service includes a vehicle health check, oil change, oil filter and top up of all levels.
Our 10,000 mile full service includes a vehicle health check, oil change, oil filter, air filter, spark plugs, top up all levels and a wash.
Our major service is perfect for high mileage users and includes a vehicle health check, change oil, oil filter, air filter, fuel filter, pollen filter, spark plugs, top up all levels and a wash.
How long does an MOT check take?
The average MOT test should last approximately 45 minutes. While the test is taking place you should be able to remain at the garage, if you wish to do so you’ll be able to oversee the range of checks being carried out by the technician.
What happens if my car fails?
If you have no serious issues requiring correction then a pass certificate known as the VT20 can be awarded, although a VT30 means the test has been failed. As long as it has a re-test carried out within ten working days then a pass certificate can still be obtained. If there are any problems that need to be resolved but that do not prevent a pass, a VT30 can be designated.
How soon before the MOT expires can I get the test done?
You can get the vehicle tested at any time – however if you want to preserve the existing expiry date you can come in up 29 days beforehand. E.g. if the expiry date is 27th December, the first day you can book is 28th November. This ensures you have plenty of time to book a convenient test slot before the existing certificate expires.
I don’t know my vehicle’s MOT class?
Most cars will be Class 4. Motorbikes are Class 1 (up to 200cc) or 2 (over 200cc, including with sidecar). Motorhomes and most smaller vans are Class 4 too.
Vans/goods vehicles of 3 to 3.5 tonne are Class 7.