Your MOT - Everything you need to know

May 30, 2017
Your MOT - Everything you need to know

Introduction to the UK MOT

As you may well know, all vehicles over 3 years old have to undergo an annual test to ensure it meets a minimum safety standard for use on the UK roads, this annual test is known as the MOT. Every day thousands of cars are tested across the country and many will fail, most will fail on small aspects which can be resolved before it enters the testing station! This post is designed to highlight all the must know information about MOT’s and what you can do as a car owner to make the process as painless as possible.

So what do I need to know about MOT’s

The best place to begin is by answering the common questions regarding MOT’s, when they are due and what’s involved, finally at the end of this post we have produced a quick checklist for items you can do yourself.

  • Do i need an MOT?

    All privately owned vehicles that are 3 years or over require an MOT to be used on the UK roads.

  • What does MOT stand for?

    The term MOT stands for ‘Ministry Of Transport’, although the Ministry was disbanded and the testing procedure was taken over by the Department for Transport the name MOT Test has stuck and remained ever since.

  • When was MOT testing introduced?

    Originally introduced in the 1960’s as a very basic test (steering, brakes & lights) it has since evolved into a complete car safety check including everything from the bodywork to the suspension, emissions to brakes.

  • Who can carry out an MOT test?

    Only an approved testing station can carry out the test (Whatlington Garage are an approved Class 4 station), all approved stations will carry signage to say they are authorized testing stations.

  • Can I drive my vehicle without an MOT?

    Simply put no, however you are allowed to drive a vehicle with no MOT as long as it’s directly to an MOT testing station where there is an MOT booked.

  • So what happens if it fails the MOT?

    If your vehicle is to fail the MOT you will receive an MOT fail certificate detailing all the areas in which the vehicle failed on. You then have 10 working days to get the items repaired and to present the car to the original testing station to have it re-examined. If you go over the 10 working days then a full test will be required inc a full test fee.

  • Are there many MOT stations?

    Yes, there are nearly 20,000 testing stations across the UK and we are one of them. The MOT test should be the same at each station as all testers work to a preset routine however some level of human judgement is involved.

  • Does the MOT test change or evolve?

    The test is always changing to add new areas to the checks, this is partially due to changing technology but also due to new research and statistics which pinpoint areas of concern.

  • Can I wait whilst my MOT is done?

    Yes, Whatlington Garage has a customer waiting area with a filtered water dispenser and hot drinks machine. You are welcome to wait and watch your car on our screens as it goes through its MOT test. WiFi is also available upon request.

  • How much is an MOT?

    The RRP of an MOT is set at £53.85 (at the time of writing) but many stations offer this at a discounted rate, our MOT’s are priced at a competitive £39.95 but we do run special offers inc MOT’s booked online at £29.95.

  • When can I book in for my MOT?

    You can have your car MOT’d a calendar month before it’s expiry date and still preserve it’s date. For example if your MOT was to expire on 1st June 2017, you could test it from 1st May 2017 and and you would get the 12 months MOT plus the ‘gap’, so potential for your test to last up to 13 months.

  • How do I book my MOT?

    We offer a simple online booking system that uses a real time calendar with hourly slots, it’s a simple booking process that only takes a few minutes and at the time of writing the MOT’s are just £29.95 when booked through our online system -> Book MOT —- Alternatively you can give us a call on 01424 870 307

  • I’ve lost my MOT, can I get a duplicate?

    An MOT testing station can issue a duplicate MOT, there can be a charge of £10 for this.

So what can I do to get my car through it’s MOT?

If your car is serviced regulary then it shouldn’t have many issues with getting through the MOT test, however there are some areas which you can check yourself in the ‘it only takes a Minute OTwo’ self test. Before your car goes in for it’s MOT why not check the following areas as its amazing how many cars will fail on this!

Vehicle Lights 

Check all lights work inc sidelights, main beam, full beam, front fogs, rear fogs, brake lights, indicators etc

  1. Number Plates

    Check your number plates are clean, clear and readable with no damage/fading and the rear plate is illuminated

  2. Wheels & Tyre’s

    Check all wheels/tyres to ensure they have tread and are damage free (e.g. no bulges, not bald etc)

  3. Seats & Seatbelts

    All seats should be secured with seatbelts, the drivers seat should be adjustable and seatbelts should lock when tugged.

  4. Windscreen & Windscreen Wipers

    Check for chips and cracks on the screen and ensure the wipers are intact and clear the screen correctly.

  5. Screenwash

    Make sure the screenwash is filled and that it squirts from all the nozzles so it covers the screen.

  6. Horn

    Make sure it works

  7. Fuel & Engine Oil

    Ensure there is enough fuel to run the test and the engine oil is between min/max on the dipstick, they can refuse to continue or carry out the MOT if either of these are low.

  8. Doors, Bodywork / Mirrors

    Make sure that all doors can be opened inside & out, the bonnet can be opened and the boot opens. Check your bodywork for damage, sharp areas, and ensure your mirrors are all intact.

  9. Dash Lights

    If you have any dash lights on such as engine management, abs, airbags then these need to be dealt with first.


That about sum’s up the MOT experience, if you have any further questions then please get in touch.