MOT: Frequently Asked Questions
1. WHEN DOES MY VEHICLE NEED AN MOT TEST? If your vehicle is three years or older it will need to be annually MOT tested. Note that taxis, ambulances and private passenger vehicles with more than eight passenger seats require MOT testing after one year.
2. WHERE DO I TAKE MY VEHICLE TO BE MOT TESTED? You must use an approved MOT test station carrying the blue sign with three white triangles. These stations use only approved MOT testing equipment and are subject to inspections by VOSA, the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency.
3. HOW MUCH IS THE MOT TEST FEE? The charges vary according to vehicle classification. The maximum charge for a class 4 vehicle (four-wheeled car/light van) is ВЈ54.85 plus VAT.
4. WILL I NEED TO PAY FOR A RETEST? With a retest, so long as the vehicle is retested by the same MOT station who carried out the original test within ten working days there will, in most cases, be no further charge. Your MOT tester can advise you about the exceptions to this rule. After ten days your vehicle will need a complete retest for which a full fee is payable.
5. WHAT PARTS OF MY VEHICLE WILL BE TESTED? An MOT certificate confirms that at the time of testing your vehicle has met the minimum road safety and environmental standards determined by VOSA. Whilst the list of vehicle components to be checked for defects is comprehensive (bodywork, brakes, tyres, lights, steering, suspension, seatbelts, emissions, etc) the test does not cover the condition of the engine nor allow for the tester to dismantle any part of the vehicle. An MOT test does not guarantee the mechanical condition of your vehicle nor is it a guarantee that your vehicle is roadworthy for the life of the certificate.
6. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A FAILED ITEM AND AN ADVISORY? Failed items are items that have been tested and do not meet the minimum road safety and environmental standards. They must be repaired and an MOT pass certificate issued following a retest. Advisories appear on an attached sheet and are items flagged up for your attention. Whilst they do not need to be repaired straight away it is your responsibility to ensure that they do not fall below the minimum standard throughout the currency of the MOT certificate.
7. CAN I LEGALLY DRIVE MY VEHICLE TO AN MOT STATION FOR TESTING IF THE PREVIOUS CERTIFICATE
HAS EXPIRED? You are permitted to drive your vehicle to an approved MOT test centre if you have a pre-arranged appointment. The vehicle must be insured and you must take the most direct route possible. However, as many MOT failures are offences in their own right, eg, worn tyre treads below the legal limit, it is advisable to book you car to be MOT tested during the currency of a valid certificate. The penalty for driving a car without an MOT is a fine of up to ВЈ1,000. Moreover, it will invalidate your insurance leaving you financially exposed to a third party claim in the event of an accident.
8. WHEN IS THE EARLIEST I CAN GET MY VEHICLE MOT TESTED PRIOR TO EXPIRY OF THE PREVIOUS CERTIFICATE? You can have your vehicle tested up to one month before the current MOT certificate expires. If you book your vehicle in one month before the test is due and it passes, your new ticket will run for thirteen months. The earliest date for renewal will be printed on your current certificate.
9. WHAT DO I DO IF I THINK MY VEHICLE HAS BEEN INCORRECTLY FAILED? There is an option to appeal directly to VOSA although try approaching your MOT tester first to discuss the test decision. If you still decide to appeal you will need to complete a VT17 form to be received fourteen working days from the date of the test together with a further full test fee. You will be offered an appointment by VOSA within five days for your vehicle to be independently re-examined so it is important not to have any repairs undertaken on your vehicle following the original test. If your appeal is successful some or all of the test fee will be refunded to you.
10. WHAT DO I DO IF I HAVE LOST OR DAMAGED MY MOT TEST CERTIFICATE? You can purchase a duplicate test certificate from any MOT test station but you will need to prove your right to acquire the duplicate document by providing the test number from the original document or the unique number from the V5C registration certificate, plus the vehicle registration mark. Alternatively you may present your vehicle to the original MOT test station to satisfy this proof. The maximum fee for a duplicate certificate is ВЈ10.
For further information on MOT testing check out our articles on testing & road safety and getting your vehicle MOT ready.