Don’t fail your MOT test on something minor! Do your pre-test check on the car and you might find something you can sort quickly. Avoid the hassle and additional cost of an MOT failure.
The purpose of the MOT test
The MOT test is a road safety measure to ensure that all vehicles more than three years old comply with the law and meet road safety and environmental standards.
The test confirms that at the time it was taken, the vehicle met the minimum standards.
- It doesn’t mean the vehicle is roadworthy for the length of time the MOT is valid.
- It doesn’t cover the condition of the engine – clutch and gearbox.
- It is not a substitute for regular maintenance or servicing.
Cost of the MOT test
The maximum amount chargeable for an MOT test is £54.85, but many MOT test centres charge less than the full fee.
If your car fails the MOT test, you will need to pay for a retest. Some MOT test centres will reduce or waive this fee if you allow them to carry out any repairs.
How to book an MOT test
You will need to book your MOT test with an approved MOT test centre. Only centres showing the blue sign with three white triangles can carry out your MOT.
When you put your car in for a new MOT, you can do so up to one month before the current MOT expires – providing you have the current MOT certificate.
You should do a pre-check before your car has the MOT test
Why not do your pre-test check. You might find something that can be corrected and avoid the stress of an MOT failure.
- Driver’s controls – check for any play in the steering wheel and column, handbrake and footbrake.
- Windscreen – confirm there aren’t any large chips or cracks that could affect your vision.
- Seatbelts – make sure they work correctly, and there is no damage to them.
- Shock absorbers – push the corners of the car down. It should bounce and then return to the starting point. (Extra movement or noise may mean new shock absorbers are required).
- Wheel alignment and tyre pressures – it’s essential the wheels are aligned correctly, and tyres inflated to correct pressure. Don’t forget the tyres should be a minimum tread of 1.6 mm to be legal.
- Light bulbs – casings should be free of damage or cracks. Check all lights work, including indicators, fog lights and number plate lights.
If your car passes the MOT
Assuming your vehicle passes, you will receive a new VT20 MOT certificate valid for a further year. The Certificate will also detail any recommended advisory work, a potential problem that was not bad enough to result in a test failure.
If your vehicle fails the MOT test, you will receive a VT3O Certificate there are two types of failure:
- Dangerous – Your vehicle fails if it has a dangerous fault. The vehicle cannot be driven until the defect is fixed.
- Major – Your vehicle fails if it has a major fault. The repair needs to be made as soon as possible, but you might be able to drive your car if it is still roadworthy.