If you’re a car owner, you’ll know that an annual MOT test is compulsory. But what exactly is an MOT and what does it mean for you? Here’s everything you need to know about this essential road safety check.
What is an MOT test?
An MOT (Ministry of Transport) test is a compulsory annual test that all vehicles must pass in order to drive on UK roads. The purpose of this test is to ensure that vehicles meet minimum safety standards and are roadworthy.
What happens during an MOT?
An MOT certifies that a vehicle meets legal standards for roadworthiness and meets certain emission standards. It also ensures that any modifications made by the owner are safe and don’t affect the vehicle’s handling characteristics or braking efficiency. If your car fails its MOT, it may need repairs before being allowed back on the road.
When can my car fail its MOT?
The following things could mean your car fails its MOT:
Tyres that are over 4mm above their legal limit or badly worn down
A faulty exhaust system which may emit excess smoke or fumes into the cabin air supply system
When you buy a used car, it will have passed its MOT. But if you buy a second-hand car that is more than three years old, it will need to pass another MOT within its new three year age band. It’s not possible to do this yourself as the MOT tester will need to check the vehicle against its current age band.
Are there any exemptions?
Yes, there are some exemptions from having an MOT – for example, a vehicle that is used exclusively for racing or rallying purposes does not need to be tested, as long as it has been registered with DVLA at least one month before its first use on the road. It must also have separate registration plates marked ‘R’.
What happens if your car fails its MOT?
If your car fails its MOT it will need to be taken off the road until it can be repaired and passed by an authorised garage. If you don’t do this then you could face fines of up to £1000!
The MOT test checks your vehicle against the latest vehicle safety standards and if it fails, the issue must be fixed before you can get your certificate. You can’t drive with a failed test certificate on your windscreen and if you do, you could be fined £1,000.
An MOT certificate is valid for 12 months from the date of inspection, so if your car fails on its first test, you’ll have to take it back for another one within 12 months of that date. If you’re buying a used car and want an MOT certificate, make sure it’s done before you buy – otherwise there’s no guarantee that it will pass when you do come to get your new one!
You can book an MOT online or by phone – just type in your postcode and find the nearest test centre nearby. The service is available at most garages nationwide (although not all), but some may charge more than others for this service (check their website for prices. You can contact us for more information on MOT Newcastle Under Lyme.