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MOT Test - Frequently Asked Questions

Find Out Everything You Need to Know About the MOT Test!


What does MOT stand for?

MOT stands for Ministry of Transport. They are responsible for the transport within the country, which includes testing of the vehicles.

When was the MOT test introduced? 

The first MOT test was conducted in 1960 in order to conform with the Road Traffic Act (1956.) It was introduced to encourage vehicle safety and maintenance.

Who regulates MOT test centres?

The Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency and the Department of Transport is responsible for approving and regulating MOT centres.

Are MOT and service the same thing?

An MOT test and service are two completely different things. The MOT test is a legal requirement for all vehicles, however, a service is just a recommendation. The MOT will check that your vehicle is roadworthy but a service will ensure it runs smoothly and can often include replacing certain parts.   

When is my first MOT test due?

Once a vehicle has been registered for 3 years from new, it will require an MOT test. If your new vehicle was registered on 1st January 2019, it would require its first MOT test no later than 1st January 2022.

How often do I need to get an MOT test?

Once your vehicle is 3 years old, it will need to have an MOT test every year. The owner of the vehicle is responsible for ensuring it is tested once a year and has the relevant MOT certificate to prove this.

Can MOT be done after expiry date?

This is not advised. You can only drive your vehicle with an expired MOT certificate if you are driving somewhere to get it repaired, or to a pre-arranged MOT test. We would always advise getting your MOT done within the same month before it expires.

Are MOT reminders sent out?

The Government and many garages offer reminder services. You will only receive a reminder if you have set this up on one of the systems. It is the owner’s responsibility to remember the MOT due date. Some reminder services may incur additional costs if SMS reminders are involved. 

What does the MOT test check?

The MOT test includes a series of different vehicle safety checks. This can include the lights, tyres, brakes, steering, exhaust systems and much more. Your vehicle will be assessed and then any advisories or hazards will be noted.

How much is the MOT test?

The price of an MOT test will depend on which garage you take it to. The maximum price set by the Government is currently £54.85 for cars or motor caravans, however, it will usually be cheaper than this. Some garages will also offer deals and promotions.

How long does the MOT test take?

Typically, an MOT test should take no longer than 60 minutes, with an average time being around 45 minutes. Please note that if your vehicle fails the test and requires repairs at the garage then you will likely be without the vehicle for much longer.

Are MOT failures recorded?

If your vehicle has any defects or advisories they can be publically viewed on the Government website. You just need the vehicle’s registration number and this will allow you to see the entire MOT history. If a vehicle has failed an MOT, you can view this information.

Are MOT retests free?

Most MOT test centres will offer a free retest if repairs are carried out there after a failed MOT and within 10 working days. Each garage is different, so be sure to ask them before you book your MOT. After the 10-day period a full MOT test will have to be carried out, and you will be charged the full cost again.

Written on 15th March 2019

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