17th March 2015
Firstly, why should you MOT your vehicle? The MOT (Ministry Of Transport) test is required by law, and is an examination for all vehicles over three years old. A valid MOT certificate is required to ensure your vehicle is legally roadworthy, and you also need a valid MOT certificate to tax your vehicle. Here are some important facts you should know about the MOT test:
As the test is a legal requirement, the price of an MOT test is set by the Government. The current price is £54.85 (correct as of Jan 2015) and it is illegal for you to be charged any more than this. Discounted prices, however, are legal and available. Many retailers offer a free retest within a certain timeframe after the test should your vehicle fail. However, if repairs exceed this time frame, you will be obliged to pay for the MOT test again.
It’s vital to remember that an MOT test is NOT the same as a service. It’s not safe to assume that just because your car has passed the MOT test, the mechanical aspects are in perfect working order. The MOT test is just the most basic safety test that can be performed on your car – it doesn’t look at the internally working systems of a vehicle. During a service, important checks on parts and systems like the brakes, transmission and engine will be carried out.
Although the MOT is the only legal requirement, it’s important that you have your car serviced regularly according to manufacturer specifications. Also it’s important to perform basic weekly maintenance checks on your tyres, water and oil level.
It’s common to overlook small problems that occur with time on your vehicle. However, things that may seem minor can cause you to fail your MOT test. For example, if a front door handle is broken on either the inside or outside, that is an instant fail – as well as if your washer fluid doesn’t spray effectively.
Advisory notices are problems that may not have caused an MOT fail, but are recommended as needing attention. Usually, even if a car passes the MOT, a list of the Advisory Notices will be included. These notices should not be ignored. It’s worth getting these addressed as soon as possible because they will quickly become bigger issues and if they aren’t sorted; the car will fail the test next year.
Not all garages can perform MOT tests. The garage should be DVSA (formally VOSA) approved in order to legally declare your vehicle roadworthy. A digital database exists, and this is updated with your vehicle details once it has passed the test. Approved MOT testing stations will have access to this database, the certificate you are given as a result of the test is not enough proof.
If you realise your MOT has expired and have not yet booked it in, you should NOT drive your vehicle on the road, as this is illegal. If you’re caught driving a car without an MOT on the road, you will be prosecuted. The only exception is if you’re driving the car to the garage for a pre-booked MOT test. Make sure you’ve made an appointment with the garage, just in case you do get stopped on the way.
Find a list of what’s included and checked during the MOT test here. You can make some MOT checks at home before taking your car in and hopefully avoid a fail for something minor.
Find a list of what’s included and checked during the MOT test. You can make some MOT checks at home before taking your car in – such as looking at your tyre tread depth and tyre pressure - and hopefully avoid a fail for something minor.