What is an MOT?
An MOT test is an annual inspection that is required by law on all vehicles in the UK. The test follows strict criteria set by the DVSA to determine whether your car is safely roadworthy. A broad range of vehicle safety checks must be completed by an MOT test centre with DVSA-approved examiners, including lights, tyres, seatbelts and emissions.
If the vehicle passes, the nominated tester will provide you with a pass certificate. They will also separately list and inform you of any ‘minor’ (formerly ‘advisory’) items that will require attention in the near future so you can keep an eye on them.
If the vehicle fails, you will receive a list of the ‘major’ or ‘dangerous’ faults present. If these are easy fixes and can be addressed without your car leaving the garage, you may be entitled to a free re-test.
How often do you need an MOT?
Any vehicle that is older than 3 years is required to have a valid MOT test certificate that should be renewed annually. This means that, if you have a vehicle that is younger than 3 years, you don’t need to take it for an MOT test until it reaches the third anniversary of when it was first registered. After this date, it is your responsibility to ensure that it is renewed every 12 months.
Some vehicles, such as ambulances and taxis, must be taken for an MOT test after 1 year.
How early can you do an MOT?
There are certain rules about how early you can take your car for its annual MOT test. The inspection can be carried out up to 28 days before the expiry date shown on your previous MOT certificate. This means that, if you take your vehicle for its test 28 days before the expiry, your MOT will essentially be valid for 13 months. You won’t lose any days for taking the car early.