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What Is an MOT & Why Is It Important?

What Is an MOT & Why Is It Important?

Any vehicle that is more than three years old is legally required to have an MOT test every year. But what is an MOT and why is it important? Here’s what motorists need to know.

What Is an MOT?

An MOT test (Ministry of Transport test) consists of a variety of checks to determine whether a vehicle is roadworthy. It should be completed annually by a garage or test centre and typically takes around 45 minutes.

What Should I Do Before an MOT Test?

Before taking your vehicle to a garage or test centre for its MOT test, we recommend cleaning the vehicle inside and out to make it easier for the tester to complete the inspection. Check all lights are working, check the tyre tread depth, and top up fluid levels to give your vehicle the best chance of passing its MOT.

What Does an MOT Test Check?

During an MOT test, different parts of your vehicle will be inspected to ensure they are in safe working order, including;

  • Electrical equipment
  • Brakes
  • Steering
  • Suspension
  • Tyres 
  • Seat belts and seats
  • Exhaust and emissions 
  • Mirrors, wipers and windscreen

Your MOT tester will follow the Government’s MOT inspection checklist, which covers areas inside and outside of the car, as well as beneath the bonnet.

What Is an MOT Failure?

As part of an MOT test, any defects are categorised as dangerous, major, or minor. Any dangerous or major faults will result in your vehicle failing its MOT. Vehicles with a dangerous fault cannot be driven until the fault is repaired and major faults should be repaired as soon as possible. 

Minor faults won’t result in an MOT failure, however they still need repairing.

What Happens if My Vehicle Fails Its MOT?

If your vehicle fails its MOT, the garage or test centre will provide a list of the repairs needed. Most people choose to have these repairs carried out by the same garage or test centre, where your vehicle can often be repaired and retested the same day. A partial retest will be carried out to check the faults that have been fixed.

If repairs are more serious and will take longer, you have up to 10 days to have repairs completed.

How Long Does an MOT Last?

When your car passes its MOT, you will be issued with an MOT certificate. This lasts for one year from the date of issue. 

When Is My MOT Due?

If your car is coming up to three years old and due its first MOT, this should be completed before the first anniversary of its registration. If your car has previously had an MOT, its next MOT test will be due one year from the date that your last MOT certificate was issued.

To check when your MOT is due, search the Government’s MOT database using your vehicle registration number.

Can I Drive Without an MOT?

You can’t drive a vehicle without a valid MOT certificate, unless you are driving it to a pre-booked MOT test. If you are not planning on driving your vehicle, it must be kept off the road and declared SORN.

Book an MOT Test

To arrange an MOT test with Dell Motor Services in Aylesbury, call 01296 429 123 or get in touch using our contact form. We can complete an MOT test while you wait, so trust our team to get you back on the road as soon as possible.