An MOT test is an assessment on your vehicle that takes place every year. Its purpose is to ensure all vehicles on UK roads meet the minimum safety and environmental standards. 

What does MOT stand for?

MOT stands for Ministry of Transport. The Ministry of Transport’s main purpose is to ensure the safety standards on UK roads. It is also responsible for the maintenance of national roads such as motorways.

When is my MOT due?

You are required to get an MOT test every year, unless your vehicle is three years old or newer. It is important to make sure you get your test booked before your MOT expires as it is an offence to drive on an expired MOT. 

Can you drive without an MOT?

Yes, but only if you have not received a dangerous defect on the failed test and you meet one of the following criteria:

  • You are driving to a pre booked MOT test.
  • You are driving to a pre booked appointment at a garage to carry out repairs. 

Don’t risk driving without an MOT, if you do you are committing an offence and could be fined up to £1000 and receive three points on your license. Additionally if you get into an accident you are at risk of your insurance becoming void, which could bring significant financial problems. 

If you are driving to the garage for pre booked repairs or retest, make sure you carry proof of ownership of the car and proof that you are only driving to a garage for the purpose of getting a repair or retest. You need to take the most direct route and not make any unnecessary stops along the way. 

what is an mot - mot testing station
An MOT Testing Station – Image by Rept0n1x at Wikimedia Commons

Does your MOT affect your Vehicle Tax?

Without a valid MOT you can not renew your Vehicle Tax. This brings further consequences to being caught by the police. 

What to do if you fail?

As mentioned before, if you fail your MOT it is important that you do not drive your vehicle for any purpose other than driving to a pre booked retest or repair, and this is on the condition your vehicle has not already failed due to a dangerous defect.

If the repairs necessary are simple and quick, then you might be able to get them done the same day. However in my experience it can sometimes take a week to get your car repaired. This is why it is important not to leave your MOT too late, if you do fail and have to wait a significant amount of time then you could be left unable to drive your vehicle. 

How much does an MOT cost?

The government does set a maximum cost for the MOT test, the cost is dependent on the vehicle type however. The maximum cost for a car is £54.85 and for motorcycles it is £29.65.

However it is common for many garages to offer a price lower than the maximum cost, even some to the point of 50% less. 

What does an MOT check?

An MOT checks various aspects of a vehicle’s roadworthiness and safety. It assesses components such as brakes, lights, steering, suspension, tires, exhaust, and emissions. Additionally, the test evaluates the vehicle’s structure for damage and corrosion. The aim is to ensure that vehicles meet legal standards, reducing risks on the road and promoting overall safety.

Find out more about MOT’s

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