An MOT Test (or to be precise Ministry of Transport Test) is compulsory in the UK for any road going vehicle every year as a condition of the DVSA (Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency). Its main purpose is to make sure a car is safe, meets environmental standards and not at risk to the owner or other road users.
What is an MOT?
The MOT is an annual check-up for your car to make sure it’s safe and sound for the road. The main things that are tested during an MOT inspection are:-
- Lights & Indicators
- Steering & Suspension
- Seats, Seat Belts & Horn
- Tyres & Wheels
- Windscreen & Wipers
- Body Structure – spoilers, bumpers, mirrors
- Exhaust & Fuel Emissions
- Drivers view of the road
- Registration Plates & VIN (Vehicle Identification Number)
An MOT does not cover the engine, clutch or gearbox – these are things that are inspected and repaired (if necessary) during a service.
How much does an MOT cost?
The cost of an MOT depends on your vehicle but companies are only allowed to charge up to a maximum amount.
- For cars & motor caravans = £54.85
- For motorcycles = £29.65
What happens if my vehicle doesn’t pass its MOT?
The above inspections must be carried out by a garage or mechanic permitted to perform MOT tests and a certificate must be provided in order for a vehicle to pass. If it doesn’t pass the MOT, this will be recorded on the MOT database and the test centre will provide you with what’s known as a VT30 (Refusal of MOT) certificate stating the reasons as to why the vehicle failed. It is the responsibility of the owner to get these failure points fixed within 10 days of the initial MOT test.
Driving without a valid MOT certificate can invalidate your insurance and either see you banned from driving, or leave you facing a £2,500 penalty and 3 points on your licence. The only occasion where it is ok to drive without an MOT is if you’ve already pre-booked a re-test or booked your vehicle in to have the defects fixed.
Appealing an MOT test
It’s worth discussing your results and any concerns with the test centre before you have any repairs carried out, but if you think your car should or shouldn’t have passed its MOT – there is an appeals procedure where you can log an official complaint with the DVSA within 14 days of the initial test.
Once this is received they will:
- Organise an appointment within 5 days to recheck your vehicle, but you will need to pay the full test fee again
- Send you an inspection report detailing any vehicle defects and advisory problems to be looked at
Unless the appeal is settled, you shouldn’t have any repairs carried out until then.
Vehicles exempt from the MOT test
Not all vehicles need to have to have an MOT. Cars that are less than 3 years old are exempt from the test, along with any goods vehicles powered by electricity, vehicles built before 1960 and tractors. Large vehicles like buses, trailers and lorries all require something slightly different known as an “annual vehicle test” which is similar to an MOT but designed for more heavy duty vehicles.
How can I make sure my vehicle passes its MOT?
Unfortunately there’s no real way of ensuring your car will pass its MOT, but how you maintain it will certainly help! The most common reason vehicles fail an MOT are due to issues with tyres, windscreen wash/wipers, brakes and lights – so checking and rectifying these on a regular basis will mean you are much more likely to pass.
For more information on MOTs, how they work, when you should get one and all the other ins and outs – visit the GOV website here.