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How early can you MOT a car?

15th May 2024

Do you own a vehicle that’s three years old or more? It’s a legal requirement for your car or van to have an annual MOT test. Your MOT test can come around quickly, thus making it crucial that you get it booked early. Discover how far in advance you can book your MOT in our informative guide. 

When can I MOT my car? 

The MOT test on any vehicle is valid for one year. Therefore, you have exactly 12 months from the last MOT test to the next one. However, there is an option to MOT your car early. 

What are the benefits of booking an MOT test early? 

Is the MOT certificate on your car about to run out? Booking your MOT test for your car early has many benefits, such as: 

  • Ensuring you don’t miss your MOT due date. 
  • Avoid the disappointment of not being able to book your MOT test before its expiry date. 
  • You have peace of mind that your car is safe and roadworthy. 
  • You won’t rush to get your MOT done at the last minute. 

What happens if you MOT your car early? 

Have you booked your MOT test early? You can keep the same renewal date for future MOTs, or you can get an earlier date if you need to book your test early. You can book your test one month minus one day earlier than the expiry date without altering the date of future renewals. For example, if your current MOT expires on the 12th of June, the earliest date you can book your car for its MOT test next year is the 13th of May. 

How long is my MOT certificate valid for? 

Once your car has passed its MOT, the certificate is valid for exactly one year after the last test. Enter your car’s registration plate into our vehicle registration checker, and it can tell you when your car’s next MOT is due. You can drive your vehicle legally up to midnight on its expiry date but after this time it can only be driven to attend your MOT test. 

We recommend booking your MOT test in advance to ensure your car’s safe and legal to drive on the road. 

What happens if I’ve lost my MOT certificate? 

If you’ve lost your MOT certificate, you can get a replacement online via the UK government website for free.  

Alternatively, you can obtain a replacement MOT certificate in person by visiting any MOT centre across the UK. However, it doesn’t need to be the original centre that conducted the MOT to obtain your replacement certificate. The centre issuing your MOT certificate can charge you up to £10 for a replacement. 

What you’ll need to bring to the centre to get your replacement MOT certificate is: 

  • Vehicle registration (number plate) 
  • The logbook (V5C) reference number 

What if my MOT has expired? 

Has your car’s MOT run out? It’s illegal to drive your vehicle without a valid MOT. It is also illegal to park your car on a public road if the MOT has expired. It must be kept on private property, such as a driveway or garage. Driving your vehicle with no MOT can lead to a fine and penalty points on your licence. However, there are a couple of exceptions to driving your car with an expired MOT, which includes: 

  • Driving to a pre-arranged MOT test. 
  • Driving to or from a garage for your vehicle to be repaired. 

Are you wondering when your car’s next MOT test is due? Find out when your next MOT test is due through our vehicle registration checker. Are you taking your car for its first MOT? Our guide covers everything you need to know about what’s checked during an MOT test. Book your next MOT test at your nearest Merityre branch today.