Does My Car Need an MOT?

If your vehicle is at least 3 years old, then an MOT test is an annual legal requirement. It is your responsibility as the vehicle owner to book in for this MOT test within a year of the previous MOT. As such, you should always aim to book a test in advance of the test certificate expiry date as it is illegal to drive a car without a valid MOT certificate, and these vehicles cannot be taxed.

Remember, vehicles like taxis will need 2 MOT tests each year depending on the requirements of the area in question, so you will need to check if this is the case for you.

Not only could you face a hefty fine for neglecting to book in for an MOT test before your test certificate expires, but more importantly you could be unintentionally putting your safety at risk. MOT tests are designed to fix any current issues your vehicle may be experiencing, and spot potential issues that could arise in future. This can improve the lifespan of your vehicle, and help you to avoid any unexpected breakdowns whilst driving.

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What Is an MOT?

First introduced in 1960, an MOT test - otherwise known as the Ministry of Transport test - is designed to ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy. This means that several checks need to be carried out on various components of your car. These checks will be performed by a professional garage that has been approved to carry out MOT tests by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). If your car fails its MOT, then you will not be able to continue driving the vehicle until the parts in question have been repaired.

The test itself usually lasts for an hour or less. The following list details just some of the parts that can be checked during an MOT test:

  • Exhaust system
  • Windscreen wipers
  • Lights
  • Fuel system
  • Doors
  • Brakes
  • Tyres
  • Wheels
  • TPMS
  • Horn
  • Steering
  • Suspension
  • Electrical wiring
  • Battery
  • Mirrors
  • Seatbelts

However, an MOT test is not the same as a car service, and so the engine, clutch, and gearbox will not be checked during an MOT.

Some of the most common reasons for MOT failure include illuminated warning lights, low screen wash levels, and a cluttered car. If you want to give your car the best chance of passing your next MOT, then booking in for a regular car service - and keeping your car clean and tidy - can be a big help. If you fail an MOT test, you will need to book the car in for a repair, and then have the vehicle re-tested - you may need to pay for this re-test.

Does Every Car Need an MOT?

Not every vehicle needs an MOT. Your ‘classic’ vehicle may not need an MOT if it is more than 40 years old, or has undergone no major changes in the last 30 years to integral parts such as the body or engine. Other vehicles which do not require an MOT include:

Likewise, certain vehicles are exempt from the emissions test aspect of an MOT according to the website:

  • Hybrid vehicles
  • Electric vehicles
  • Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles
  • Vehicles with 2-stroke engines
  • Vehicles with less than 4 wheels
  • Quadricycles

To easily check the MOT status of your vehicle, simply enter your car registration number into the BookMyGarage MOT Checker to instantly check the status and expiry date of your MOT.

When your car needs an MOT, Williams Garage is here to help. We are qualified to perform an expert, accurate MOT test which really makes a difference to your car. We are proud to service class 1, 2, 4, 5 and 7 vehicles. No matter what you drive, the skilled team here at Williams Garage is here to deliver a stress-free experience, that yields amazing results – every single time. Book in for an MOT test with Williams Garage, and feel safe and confident in the knowledge that your car is roadworthy and running smoothly today.