A Definitive Guide to Car MOT: Is Your Car MOT Due?
When you’re a car owner, you specifically have to be on top of your MOT tests, ensuring you don’t accidentally pass the due date cause’ there is a hefty fine for it, or you don’t fail it. UK Law is pretty stringent when it comes to driving a car which is not in a roadworthy condition. Which is why MOT is never exempted, and you have to make sure you have a valid certificate. If you constantly as yourself is my car MOT due? How can I check my due date? and many other such questions, this MOT guide is here to answer them all.
During the Covid-19 lockdown, the government had given a 6-month extension to the car’s whose MOT was pending. But with recent relaxation and opening up of offices and other places, we saw an increase in the traffic which led to the general threat of having so many cars with their MOT due. For this reason, the extension has been rolled back, and if your car MOT is due after July, you will be required to test your vehicles and get an updated certificate per usual.
Let’s have a look at all the general doubts and questions that surround MOT.
What is an MOT test?
An MOT test, also known as the Ministry of Transport test, is a simple way to gauge the roadworthiness of your car and to ensure it matches the legal requirement for driving a vehicle, whether it is a bike, car, van, or a bus. It entails an extensive check of internal and external parts, making sure they are all working as per the standard level.
Please note that an MOT test only checks the parts, and the mechanics are not allowed to change or remove the parts during the MOT. You can opt for repair later on.
Since MOT is a visual check, you must also keep up with your regular car service for your car’s health and your safety.
When do I need an MOT?
Once your car nears its third anniversary, you’re legally required to obtain an MOT certificate which your car has passed. After the third year, you will have to get the car checked annually before the expiry date from an approved MOT test centre.
Who will test my car for MOT?
DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) is responsible for the MOTs and it is required to carry it out by qualified and approved ‘Nominated Tester’ (NT). If you’re unsure if a garage is approved for MOT testing, you can spot a blue sign with three white triangles on the display, which is the official logo of an MOT.
Booking my car for an MOT – Where can I go?
There are three options to choose from when it comes to booking an MOT. You can either go to the main dealer or franchise that are associated with your car manufacturer. They come costly but may be a good option if you have very complicated repairs.
You can also choose branded chains or an independent garage as they do the work at a way lower cost than a franchise, and you can even get your repairs done in case you fail the test.
How much is the payment for an MOT test?
The Government caps the test at £54.85 excluding VAT, so make sure you’re not paying more than this. Most of the independent garages offer Free or discounted MOT with service, which is a great offer if your car service is also pending. Make sure you lookout for the costs and enter a garage that matches your budget.
Who is exempt from MOT?
Like every other thing, we have exceptions when it comes to the MOT test. If you drive a historic vehicle which is over 40 years old from the date of the first registration, you are exempted from the MOT provided they haven’t been substantially changed in the past 30 years.
During taxation, you will have to mention that your vehicle comes under the exception rule, and make sure it is in a roadworthy condition.
Is my Car MOT due?
If your car is fairly new, your MOT is due three years after the registration date. Please note that this is only for new cars and not second-hand cars. For example, if your car was registered on November 1, 2017, your car MOT is due no later than November 1, 2020.
As for car owners who have passed the three years, your car MOT is due every year. So taking the previous example, you will have to get an MOT test no later than November 1, 2021.
To check your car MOT due date and other information, you can check it on the government website with just your vehicle’s registration number.
The penalties of not having a valid MOT
If you’re unable to produce a valid MOT certificate when stopped by the police, you can receive a maximum fine of up to £1,000. Furthermore, your car insurance becomes invalid without an MOT certificate, so you will have to pay for the repairs and damage yourself. And, if your insurance is invalid, you could also receive a fine and points on your licence. You’ll also be unable to renew your road tax with an expired MOT.
What can you do if you have lost your MOT Certificate?
Duplicate forms can be obtained from any test centre, but there is usually a fee (about £10).
How do I prepare my car for an MOT test?
According to the data, 40% of the vehicle owners fail their MOT test because of not pertaining to the standard level of maintenance. To make sure you want to pass on your first try, pay attention to the following points:
- Starting with the basics, your horn should be working accurately.
- Moving on to the look of the car, make sure your windscreen washer and wipers are in good condition. You can fill your screenwash, and replace any broken wipers from any shop.
- Check all the mirrors including the windscreen for any crack or dirt.
- It is very crucial to ensure the 5 most important oil and fluid levels are up to the mark.
- Check all the lights of the car, and make sure they are all working, including the fog lights and number plate lights.
- All the doors and locks should be working properly.
- Make sure your car’s brakes are working efficiently.
- Check your steering and suspension condition.
- For safety purposes, the seat belts should be working without any hiccups, roughness, and are in good condition.
- Check the condition of the tyres along with their tread depth, ensuring it is at a minimum of 1.6mm. Make sure you also check the spare tyre.
- Your exhaust should be working accurately.
- The number plate of the car should be visible and clean.
- Make sure the warning light isn’t on, and if it is, have it checked before the MOT.
- Keep your car clean and tidy.
What gets checked in an MOT?
All the points mentioned above are a part of the MOT test which is why you should take extra care of these points.
What happens if my car fails the MOT?
Don’t worry, many cars fail their MOT and you can fix the problems and have it retested. Many test centres will retest your car for free if the repairs are carried out at their garage.
For this purpose, it is advised to get your MOT done at least 3-4 weeks in advance to ensure you have enough time for repairs if any. You won’t lose any days as the new MOT will come into existence on the date of the expiry.
There are four types of problems that are highlighted in an MOT. “Dangerous” or “Major” Problems will make you fail the MOT test and you might not be allowed to drive until you fix them.
As for ‘minor’ or ‘advisory’ problems, you need to monitor them and fix them in the near future.
Your car will fail if the results show ‘dangerous’ or ‘major’ problems. Also, you might not be allowed to drive until you fix the problems.
You might also get a list of ‘minor’ or ‘advisory’ problems to monitor or fix in the future.
This is what happens when you fail an MOT test:
- You’ll get a ‘refusal of an MOT test certificate’ from the test centre
- It will be recorded in the MOT database
- You can appeal the result if you think it’s wrong.
You can take your vehicle away if:
- Your MOT is still valid – i.e, you have a few days before your expiration date
- Your car did not have any of the ‘dangerous’ problems.
Always remember to meet the minimum standards of roadworthiness at all times, or you can be fined. If you’re driving a car which has failed its MOT due to a ‘dangerous’ issue, you can be fined up to £2,500, be banned from driving, and get 3 penalty points.
In case your MOT is already expired, you can only take out your car to drive it to the test centre. If stopped by the police, you will have to submit a proof that you’re on your way to get an MOT.
This brings us to the end of the MOT guide which answers all your questions like is my car MOT due? And what happens if I fail the test? And so on.
I hope this was informative.
Feel free to leave your questions/doubts in the comments below.