The MOT Test is a vehicle check that is compulsory for all vehicles (including cars and motorbikes) that are over 3 years old and registered in the United Kingdom.
The test is carried out by government approved MOT testing centres, and becomes due 3 years after first registration and the certificate is valid for one year, after which the vehicle needs to be re tested.
Testing ensures that vehicles are in a safe and roadworthy condition at the time of the test, but it is worth bearing in mind that a certificate only guarantees roadworthiness at the time of issue although the certificate is valid for a year. Something to bear in mind if you are buying a used car.
A MOT test can be taken up to a month before the due date and if the old certificate, or registration document in the case of the first MOT, is presented at the test, the certificate will be issued from the due date rather than the earlier test date.
The MOT fees increased on 30th June 2008, the following are the current fees from that date.
The following shows the maximum a garage is allowed to charge for the MOT Test.
Motor bicycles: £28.65
Motor bicycles with side car: £36.55
3 wheeled vehicles: £36.55
Cars (up to 8 passenger seats): £53.10
Motor caravans: £53.10
Dual purpose vehicles: £53.10
Public service vehicles (up to 8 seats): £53.10
Private passenger vehicles & ambulances (9-12 passenger seats): £55.50
Class IVa Includes seat belt installation check: £62.00
If you have lost your current MOT certificate then it is now a lot easier to find out its due date and get a replacement if necessary.
Firstly, unless you have been requested to produce your MOT certificate by the police, you are unlikely to require a replacement. You can now buy your Tax disc online, and if you do this the computerised record of your MOT is checked rather than you needing to present the MOT certificate.
If you just need your current certificate to check when the MOT is due and you have the vehicle V5C registration document "logbook" then you can use the MOT Computerisation Web Site to tell you the due date of the MOT.
If you do need a replacement certificate take your V5C registration document to any MOT testing station and they can provide you with a replacement, they are likely to charge you £10 for this service.
A question that is often asked follows:
If a car fails the MOT test, is the old test certificate still valid until its expiry date?
Well the answer does not seem to be found on any of the government information about the MOT test, so we emailed VOSA with this question and this is their response:
"An MOT certificate is valid until its expiry date. However if your vehicle fails a test before this date and you do not rectify the defects then you are driving an unroadworthy vehicle which is an offence."
So to put this into context if your car fails the MOT due to illegal tyres then you are driving an unroadworthy vehicle, you were driving unroadworthy vehicle before the MOT, and you will be driving an unroadworthy vehicle until you get a new tyre. Therefore at anytime if caught you would be subject to a £2500 fine and 3 points per illegal tyre.
However once you get a new tyre your car is roadworthy and the old MOT is still valid until its expiry date, thus you can then drive your car again and get it retested to your timescale, with out worrying about driving without an MOT.
This is a very good reason to book your Mot early and give yourself plenty of time to book a retest if needed.