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Blog / Maintaining Your Car / Car Buyer's Guide - MOTs

Written by : sshields

Published on:: 11/11/2015

Car Buyer's Guide - MOTs

The Ministry of Transport (MOT) test ensures that your car is roadworthy, safe and meets the necessary environmental standards to be driven on public roads.

Once your car reaches its third birthday, it will need to be taken for an MOT test every year. You won’t be able to obtain road tax without an MOT, and if you fail to keep your MOT up to date, you could be prosecuted.
Remember that the test is actually quite a basic inspection, and MOT certification alone is no guarantee that your car’s in good mechanical condition, so you’ll also need to have it serviced regularly.

Getting the MOT test done

You can renew your MOT up to a month before it expires; check your VT20 recepit for the earliest date that you can book your next one.

The MOT test must be conducted at an approved MOT test centre (look out for the distinctive blue sign with its three white triangles), and the maximum cost of an MOT test for a car with up to eight passenger seats is currently set at £54.85, so make sure you don’t pay a penny more!

The test centre will look at lots of elements – including the seat belts, steering, suspension, exhaust system, doors, mirror, brakes, wheels and even the horn – to check that your car meets all the standards it should.

Passing – or failing – an MOT

If your vehicle passes the test, you’ll be given your certificate and your test record will be added to the central MOT database.

If it fails, you’ll receive a notification and the failure will be recorded on the MOT database. As you won’t be able to drive your car until it has passed the MOT (unless you’re travelling to a garage to have the necessary repairs done, or back to the MOT centre for your retest appointment), you’ll want to resolve any problems and get a retest done as soon as possible; this is why it’s usually most convenient to get any faults or problem fixed at the very garage where the MOT test took place.

If the car is left at the MOT test centre for repair and then retested before the end of 10 working days, then only a partial retest will be needed, and there should be no cost for this (although, of course, you will have to pay for any repair work that’s been carried out).

MOTs for used cars

If you’re buying a used car, you’ll need to find out its MOT status and history. If you have the vehicle’s registration number, you can check this online on the gov.uk website.
Luckily, you won’t have to worry about your next MOT test for quite some time when you buy from The Car People...

That’s because, if a car we’re going to put up for sale has six months or less until it’s next MOT is due (or, with newer cars that haven’t yet had an MOT, if its less than three months’ away from its first one), we’ll do the test in-house at our own MOT bays. And then we’ll carry out any repairs that need doing – it’s all part of the comprehensive inspection process that ensures your new car is top quality and totally ready for the road.

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