Why should I MOT Test?
By law any vehicles driven on the road must be in a roadworthy condition.
MOT testing checks that your vehicle meets road safety and environmental standards. It isn’t the same as having your vehicle serviced and doesn’t check its general mechanical condition.
The leaflets ‘Your car and the MOT’ and ‘Your motorbike and the MOT’ include a list of the parts of your vehicle that will be tested.
When should I have an MOT?
You must get an MOT test every year once your vehicle is 3 years old (or 1 year old in some cases - check the MOT fees table to see when).
You can then renew your MOT up to a month before it expires. The earliest date you can get your vehicle tested is printed on the pass certificate.
You need to use an approved MOT test centre to get your MOT. Only centres showing the blue sign with 3 white triangles can carry out your MOT.
Approved centres must show an official ‘MOT Test: Fees and Appeals’ poster on a public notice board on their premises. This must list contact details for your local VOSA area office.
What will be tested?
0. Identification of the vehicle
Registration plate (number plate) and vehicle identification number rules and inspection for car and passenger vehicle MOT tests.
Brake condition and operation, service brakes, secondary brakes, parking brakes, anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic braking system (EBS) and brake fluid rules and inspection for car and passenger vehicle MOT tests.
Mechanical condition, steering wheel and column or handlebar, forks and yokes, steering play and electronic power steering (EPS) rules and inspection for car and passenger vehicle MOT tests.
Field of vision, bonnet catches, condition of the glass, the view to the rear, windscreen wipers and windscreen washer rules and inspection for car and passenger vehicle MOT tests.
4. Lamps, reflectors and electrical equipment
Headlamp, position lamps, daytime running lamps, stop lamps, indicators, hazard warning lamps, fog lamps, reversing lamps, lighting ‘tell-tales’, trailer electrical socket, electrical wiring and battery rules and inspection for car and passenger vehicle MOT tests.
5. Axles, wheels, tyres and suspension
Axle, wheel bearing, wheel and tyres, tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS), and suspension (including springs, shock absorbers, and suspension arms and joints) rules and inspection for car and passenger vehicle MOT tests.
6. Body, structure and attachments
Structure and attachments (including exhaust system and bumpers), and body and interior (including doors and catches, seats and floor) rules and inspection for car and passenger vehicle MOT tests.
7. Other equipment
Seat belts and restraint systems, airbags, anti-theft devices, horn, speedometer, speed limiter and electronic stability control (ESC) rules and inspection for car and passenger vehicle MOT tests.
Noise, exhaust emissions, engine malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) (sometimes called an engine management light or 'EML'), and fluid leak rules and inspection for car and passenger vehicle MOT tests.
9. Supplementary tests for buses and coaches
Entrance and exit doors, emergency exits, passenger grab handles, steps and stair rules and inspection for bus and coach MOT tests.
10. Seat belt installation checks
Seat belt installation rules and inspection for vehicles fitted with more than 8 passenger seats and first used before 1 October 2001.
What if my MOT has expired?
You can’t drive your vehicle on the road if the MOT has expired. You could be prosecuted if caught.
The only exception is if you’ve already booked an MOT and are driving your vehicle to the test centre.
Check the MOT status of your vehicle:
Find out if a vehicle has an MOT certificate and when it runs out. You’ll need the vehicle’s registration number (number plate).
Read the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency’s (VOSA’s) MOT inspection manuals and guides for a detailed breakdown of what’s covered in an MOT test.