MOT Test Guide and Key Facts


Owning a vehicle comes with a significant amount of cost and responsibility. What you get in convenience and comfort, you pay for through maintenance and other requirements. One example is the MOT test which every automobile that is over three years old must undergo and pass.

What is the MOT test?

MOT stands for Ministry of Transport, and they require that if your car has been running for over three years, it must undergo yearly testing conducted to determine whether the vehicle is still meeting safety and environmental standards. There are around 21,000 centres that carry out MOT services around the country authorised by the Ministry of Transport. If you want to make sure that the garage or centre you go to has the required accreditation, you can always check the official list on the Ministry’s website.

How long does the test take?

If there are no issues with your car, the test should be done in around 45 to 60 minutes. However, if your vehicle fails and the centre recommends repairs, expect the process to take a lot longer. Once the car fails the test, the MOT centre will not allow the owner to drive away with the car until the problems are fixed. In cases when your MOT certificate is still current, you may take the car to a different garage for repairs. Depending on the time of day you brought your vehicle in for testing, the centre may require you to leave it and come back once the test is done. In any case, when it is time to get the MOT test done, expect that you may not be able to use your car for at least one day.

Cost of the MOT

The price of the MOT test for cars and motor caravans is around £54.85. For motorcycles, on the other hand, the cost is £29.65. This is only an estimate, and it is possible to find garages that charge significantly less. You may also check online for lower MOT prices at garages near you.

Reasons for failing the MOT test

It is not uncommon for cars to fail on their first MOT test. Often the reason for these failures is minor problems the car owner can address before undergoing the test. Here are the top reasons for cars failing the MOT test:

  • The inside of the car is dirty and cluttered. Before heading out to have the test, clean your car including the boot and cabin. If the windows are dirty, give them a quick wipe.
  • The screen wash is not topped up. This is often overlooked by car owners and should only take a few minutes to complete.
  • There is a problem with the registration plate. Some examples include a missing or dirty registration plate.
  • Stickers blocking the view. Labels on the windscreen should be outside the wiper’s area.
  • Warning lights lit-up on the dashboard. If any warning light on the dash is lit-up, make sure to address any issue before having the test done.

These simple tips can help you save on the cost of paying for a test which you might end up failing. Make sure that you take additional pointers from experts to guarantee that you pass your MOT test.


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