MOT Guide

An MOT is the acronym for the ‘Ministry of Transport’ test which is carried out annually and checks that a vehicle is safe and roadworthy. Read our MOT Check Guide to keep you up to speed with the requirements of the test.

Published: 12th July 2016

An MOT is the acronym for the ‘Ministry of Transport’ test which is carried out annually and checks that a vehicle is safe and roadworthy.

All motorists have a legal obligation to have a valid MOT certificate and without this your car insurance will be void and you will not be able to tax your vehicle – both of which are against the law. The maximum fee for a car is £54.85 and the fee for a standard motorbike is £29.65.

Even though this may be common knowledge to most drivers, GAP Insurance have compiled an MOT Check Guide to keep you up to speed with the requirements.

When do I need an MOT?

Motorists need to get an MOT for their vehicle either by the third anniversary of its registration or one year after its last MOT, if it’s over 3 years old. In some cases, a vehicle may need to be tested at one year old.

The date that your vehicle’s MOT runs out is printed on the last pass certificate, but you can get it tested any time during the month before it ends and keep the same renewal date.

Motorists who do not have a valid MOT can be fined up to £1,000.

Where to book an MOT

MOTs must be carried out at an approved MOT test centre – these can be recognised by the blue sign with three white triangles. The test itself can only be carried out by authorised mechanics who are qualified to examine vehicles – they are known as nominated testers.

What does an MOT check?

The MOT is designed to check the most important parts of the vehicle to ensure they meet the legal standard – as well as the minimum road safety and environmental standards. This includes checking the effectiveness of seatbelts, brakes and lights. Most vehicles also have their exhaust emissions tested.

The only vehicles that are exempt from emissions tests are:

  • Vehicles with fewer than 4 wheels
  • Those with 2-stroke engines
  • Hybrid vehicles
  • Quadricycles

What happens after the MOT?

Vehicles that pass the MOT are entered into the MOT database and the motorist receives an MOT certificate from the test centre. The certificate shows the mileage recorded at the current and previous three test passes. This is shown as the ‘odometer reading and history’.

For vehicles that fail the MOT, the motorist gets a ‘refusal of an MOT test certificate’ from the test centre, along with a list of things that need to be fixed. The failure will be recorded in the MOT database.

MOT Retest

If a vehicle fails its MOT check the motorist will need to have the faults fixed and get a retest. Vehicles left at the test centre for repair and retested within 10 working days will only need a partial re-test. If you take your vehicle from the test centre for repairs and return it within 10 working days, you’ll only have to pay for a partial retest.

Contesting the MOT Result

Motorists who disagree with the test result can appeal by filling in and sending a form to the DVSA within 14 working days of the test. An appointment will then be made to recheck the vehicle and a fee then paid for the retest, which will be refunded if the appeal is successful.

Motorists can be fined up to £2,500, be banned from driving and get three penalty points for driving a vehicle without a valid MOT.

Driving rules surrounding the MOT

Motorist can still drive their vehicle if it fails the MOT and its existing MOT certificate is still valid. If the vehicle fails the test and the MOT has expired, motorists can only drive it to have the defects fixed or to take it for the MOT test.

What vehicles don’t need an MOT?

A complete list of exempt vehicles is on the V112 form. If a motorist’s vehicle is listed, the form needs to be filled in so that it can be taxed. The most common types of vehicles that don’t need an MOT include:

  • Cars and motorcycles made before 1960
  • Goods vehicles powered by electricity
  • Tractors

Click here to read more: Guides ALA Connect.

Published: 12th July 2016
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