So you’re now a fully-fledged car owner – congratulations!
Before you get out on the road, it’s worth taking a look at your essential documents. One of these is your MOT certificate, which details whether your car has passed or failed its MOT test. If you’ve just bought a car, it’s (hopefully) got an MOT pass.
The MOT needs to be completed annually (on cars over three years old) and exists to make sure that the vehicle is safe to be on the road.
Here’s a quick rundown on all you need to know about an MOT certificate, and how it’s one of the essential responsibilities of car ownership.
What’s the purpose of the MOT test certificate?
It verifies that the car has passed its MOT test. Without a certificate confirming that your vehicle has passed, you can’t:
- Drive on the road legally.
- Get car insurance.
- Road tax your car.
- The MOT certificate confirms at the time of the MOT test; the vehicle met the required road safety and environmental standards set by the DVSA.
Passing the MOT test does not mean the car will remain roadworthy for the period of the pass certificate, so if there are any obvious repair issues, don’t just wait until your next MOT date.
It’s your responsibility to make sure your car is safe to drive, and you could face criminal offences if you drive an unroadworthy vehicle.
Take your car for an MOT annually
Your car needs to go through an MOT test every year. You must make sure you take your vehicle to get its MOT test in good time.
If you wait until after your last certificate has expired, you’re driving your car illegally. You could be in serious trouble, and you risk the safety of yourself and other drivers. Without an MOT test, you can’t be sure that your car is roadworthy.
The only exception is if you’ve bought a car from new, or it is under 3 years old. Only after three years do you have to take the car for an MOT test! Make a note on your calendar for when the MOT is due, and try to get it done early if possible.
I’m not using my car – do I need an MOT?
If you’re not using your vehicle, you can own it without a valid MOT certificate. You also don’t need to pay insurance or road tax on it.
Doing so is called declaring your car as SORN (Statutory Off-Road Notification) – however, it has to be off the road. You can’t drive it until it’s taxed, insured, and until it’s passed an MOT test.
Get an MOT check before you buy the car!
If you’re to buy a car, make sure you check that the MOT certificate is genuine. Thankfully, it’s a breeze to do this – simple use this free MOT check from the DVLA. All you need is the car’s registration (number plate) and make (manufacturer).
You can see the full details of what an MOT check includes by visiting here.