When do you need to MOT your vehicle?
Every vehicle in the UK needs to be tested each year to ensure that it complies with at least the minimum road safety and environmental standards. If you have a vehicle that is more than three years old, it will need an MOT test.
About the MOT
The first test is required once a vehicle is three years old. There are different rules if you use it as a taxi. When your vehicle is tested, the MOT looks at some important items to see if it meets the legal requirements. You should be aware that the MOT certificate is not a guarantee of the general mechanical condition of a vehicle.
When your vehicle needs testing
If a vehicle is registered with no prior use on the road, the MOT will be required three years after the date of registration. For example, a vehicle registered ‘from new’ on 1 April 2004 will require its MOT no later than 1 April 2007.
If a vehicle is used prior to registration, as would be the case with an import, the MOT will be required three years from the end of the year of manufacture. For example a vehicle manufactured at any time in 2004 will require an MOT no later than 31 December 2007. There is no grace period given after these dates.
An MOT can be carried out at any time
If the vehicle is tested within the calendar month prior to when the MOT is due, the test certificate will run from the date of the test to one year after the expiry date of the current certificate. For example, if the current certificate was due to expire on 1 April 2007, and the vehicle was presented on or after 2 March 2007, the certificate would run from the test date until 1 April 2008.
The same rule would also apply when the vehicle is taken in within a calendar month of its first MOT. In this case, the vehicle owner would need to present their registration document.
If the vehicle is tested earlier than one month before its due date, the MOT will only run for twelve months.
Computerisation of the MOT scheme
The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) has now computerised the administration of the MOT scheme. This provides up to date information electronically in all aspects of the MOT enabling an improved service to the customer.
The benefits of the scheme
Improved testing standards by:
- providing accurate, up-to-date information for the MOT testing stations
- collecting better information
- monitoring test standards more closely
- improving the quality of MOT documents
Reduced theft and fraud associated with MOT certificates by:
- closer monitoring
- tighter control of certificates
- reducing dependence on paper certificates
Improved administration by:
- passing information to and from garages electronically
- automatically collecting and updating information
- providing electronic ordering and payment systems
- improving the way records are kept
Improved consumer protection and confidence in the MOT test by:
- ensuring more consistent standards
- enabling the general public to check if a vehicle passed or failed an MOT
- improving protection and making it easier to detect frauds
How to check the MOT status of your vehicle
For motorists the main feature of the new system is that you can check the MOT status of any vehicle that you own, or are considering buying. You are able to do this either by calling our MOT status check service on 0870 330 0444 (national rate) or visiting the link below:
If you are buying a second hand vehicle, and want to check its MOT status you will need the registration mark of the vehicle and either the test number from the new style MOT test certificate or the document reference number from the V5C registration certificate.
The system will provide you with certain key information including make, model and colour of the vehicle, together with the MOT status and expiry date of the valid MOT. The vehicle’s mileage recorded at the time of the MOT test will also be disclosed when you make your enquiry.
Checking the MOT history of your vehicle
In addition to MOT status, the facility to check the MOT history of the vehicle is also available. It provides full test details for all the tests undertaken on the vehicle since the system was computerised. Information relating to any advisory items recorded at the time of an MOT test together with the mileages recorded at each Computerised MOT test is also available as part of this service. We hope that this service will encourage motorists to obtain the test history of vehicles before buying so they can make a more informed decision on the suitability of the vehicle.
To check the MOT history of your vehicle click on the link below, alternatively, this service is available by phone on0906 120 9941. Calls cost £1.50 per minute from a BT landline; calls from mobiles and other networks may vary. Calls should last no longer than two minutes.