When your car, van, motorcycle or other vehicle has been through the MOT inspection test, hopefully it will have a clean bill of health and you will receive your MOT certificate. In some cases obviously your vehicle may fail the MOT.
If your car fails the MOT you need to arrange to have the necessary repairs carried out promptly to avoid being charged another fee for the MOT test.
If the vehicle stays at the MOT test centre for the required repairs only a partial re-examination is required. This is on condition that the re-examination is completed on or before the end of the tenth working day after the initial MOT test. You will not need to pay. This retest is free.
Should you decide to take the vehicle off site and have the repairs completed elsewhere the MOT retest is free on condition that the vehicle is brought back to the same MOT testing station by the end of the following day after the initial MOT test. Again only a partial re-examination is required and there is no charge.
If you take the vehicle away from the MOT testing station but do not return for retest on the following day, so long as you return with the vehicle on or before the end of the tenth day following the initial MOT examination only a partial MOT re-examination is necessary. This is chargeable at a maximum of half of the full fee.
Should you miss the ten day time stipulated you will be liable for a full MOT examination and the full MOT charge.
What is an MOT?
M.O.T. Stands for Ministry Of Transport and The MOT vehicle testing scheme aims to ensure as far as possible that all cars, motorcycles and light goods vehicles more than three years old are examined at least once a year at an authorised MOT test station to ensure that they comply with certain important legal requirements.
The MOT certificate only relates to the condition of testable items at the time of the test and should not be regarded as evidence that they will remain roadworthy for the life of the certificate. Regular, ongoing maintenance is necessary.
What is tested during an MOT?
For a car the following items are checked during an MOT test:
- The Vehicle Identification Number is checked to see that only one identification number is present
- The condition, security, legibility and format of the letters and numbers on the Registration Plate is checked
- The condition, operation, security and correct colour of the various lights and the correct angle of the headlamps is also checked, and the horn is checked for correct operation and type.
- The condition and correct operation of the Steering and Suspension must be tested.
- The Windscreen’s condition and the view the driver has of the road is checked and the Wipers and Washers are tested to make sure they allow the driver a clear view of the road during their operation. Rear washers and wipers are not part of the test.
- Checks are made to see that all compulsory seatbelts are in place and test their condition, operation and security and that the correct type of belts have been used.
- The Seats themselves are also checked for secureness.
- The Fuel System is checked for leaks, and that the fuel cap fastens and seals correctly. The fuel cap will need to be opened, so make the key available.
- The Exhaust System is checked to see that it’s complete and secure, with no serious leaks and that it silences effectively. The Exhaust Emissions are checked to see that the vehicle meets the legal requirement for exhaust emission, which varies with the age of the vehicle and the fuel type it uses.
- The Wheels and Tyres are inspected for security, correct type and size of tyre, and tread depth. Spare tyres are not inspected.
- The Brakes are inspected for their condition and efficiency. The tester only examines what he can see or feel, with the wheels not being removed for the test.
- The Doors are checked that they open and close, latching securely in closed position.
- The front doors must open from inside and outside the vehicle. Some items that need testing may require the rear doors to be opened to gain access to them.
- The Vehicle Structure is also inspected to see that it’s free from corrosion or damage in specific areas, and has no sharp edges, and that the Mirrors are present, secure and in good condition.
- For a motorcycle the test involves checks made sitting on the machine and viewing it from all sides, both on and off its stand.
- All controls, front and rear suspension, handlebars, brakes, lights, wheels, bearings, tyres, exhaust, registration plate and VIN number are checked, and the condition of the frame, seat and footrests.
At what age does a vehicle need an MOT?
Motrocycles, Car, Vans and Goods vehicles require their first MOT three years after their date of registration.
Taxis and Ambulances need to be tested after just one year.
How often does a vehicle need an MOT?
Once per year
Can I take my vehicle for MOT before the due date?
The earliest date you can present your vehicle for its MOT test is printed on the pass certificate. You can renew your MOT up to one month before it expires without affecting your annual expiry date.
Do I need to make an appointment for my vehicle’s MOT test?
In most cases, yes, but some centres do offer an any time, while you wait service.
How much does an MOT cost?
There are maximum fees which can be charged for MOT tests. These fees are determined by the Government Agency – VOSA.
These are currently…
- Motorcycles: £29.65
- Motorcycles with sidecar: £37.80
- Three wheeled vehicles:£37.80
- Cars, Vans, Dual Purpose Vehicles, Ambulances and Private Passenger Vehicles up to 8 seats: £54.85
- Private passenger vehicles and ambulances with 9-12 seats: £57.30
- Private passenger vehicles and ambulances with 13-16 seats: £59.55
- Private passenger vehicles and ambulances with more than 16 seats: £80.65
- Class 5a vehicles with 13-16 passenger seats: £80.50
- Class 5a vehicles with more than 16 passenger seats: £124.50
- Goods vehicles over 3,000 kg up to 3,500 kg DGW: £58.60
- Save 50% off car MOT’s. Get your car MOT for half price !
These prices were correct at the time of writing this article.
How long does an MOT test take?
It can vary, but usually about 45 minutes.
Am I allowed to watch when my vehicle has its MOT inspection?
Yes, as long as you do not cause any interference to the test.
What happens if your vehicle fails the MOT?
If your vehicle fails its MOT you will be issued with a notice of failure, which will contain details of the type of retest required. It should be retested at the same test station which carried out the original test. Only one partial retest can be conducted in connection with this refusal notice, and if that test is unsatisfactory then a full retest must be carried out when the vehicle is next inspected. If the test station changes ownership then a full retest must be carried out and a full test fee may be charged. For the purposes of retests, working days do not include Saturdays, Sundays or Bank Holidays.
Do all test centres give a free re-test?
Yes, if the vehicle is left at the centre to be repaired, or returned the next day after some minor repairs, a partial re-test is free.
Will the VIA send a reminder when my test date is due?
No, it is your responsibility to arrange your test.
However, the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) has set up the MOT text reminder service, and by registering and paying a £1.50 fee, you will receive text messages telling you when your MOT is due. Find out how the service works and how you can register at http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Motoring/OwningAVehicle/Mot/DG_192284
What is the penalty for failing to have an MOT?
The penalty for driving a vehicle on the road with an expired MOT certificate is a fixed penalty notice from the police, currently £60, or a court fine up to a maximum of £1,000.
Exceptions may be made when taking it to a test station for an MOT test booked in advance, or when taking it from a test station where it has failed the MOT test, to a place of repair, or taking it by previous arrangement, to a place where problems that caused it to fail its MOT test can be repaired, or when bringing it away from the place where the vehicle’s problems have been repaired.
Be aware that even in these circumstances you may still be prosecuted for driving an unroadworthy vehicle if it doesn’t comply with various regulations affecting its construction and use. Your car insurance may also be made invalid.
Can I get a duplicate copy if I lose my MOT certificate?
You can get a duplicate from any MOT testing station if you lose or damage your MOT certificate. The information needed will be the vehicle registration mark and either the original MOT test number, or the reference number on the registration certificate (V5C). The maximum fee for a duplicate certificate for a car is £10.