We all know that our vehicle needs to pass its MOT (Ministry of Transport) Test, but few of us know what MOT stands for, let alone what it means! In May 2018, the MOT Test changed slightly, too. In this series, we tell you what you need to know about your MOT Test and talk about the recent changes to the process.
What is an MOT and who has to have one?
All cars over three years old have to have an MOT Test; once issued, the test certificate lasts for 12 months. The test isn’t designed to make sure that the car is running smoothly (that is what services are for), but to ensure that your vehicle meets safety and environmental standards. Your test will cover a multitude of statutory checks, from lights and emissions to seatbelts and windscreen wipers. It won’t look at the condition of your gearbox, clutch or engine.
What if my MOT Test has expired?
If you don’t have a current Mot Test, you can’t legally drive your vehicle. The only exception is if you have a test booked and you are on your way to that test.
Who can conduct an MOT Test?
Any authorised MOT Test Centre can do your MOT and with about 21,000 authorised centres in England, Scotland and Wales, there are plenty for you to choose from. Click here to look for reviewed and rated MOT centres near you.
How much will it cost?
The statutory maximum amount that a garage can charge for the test is £54.85 for cars and motorhomes and £29.65 for motorbikes. However, this is the maximum; plenty of MOT centres offer cut-priced MOT Tests. When booking your vehicle’s MOT, look around for good deals, but be warned: the cheapest test isn’t always the best value; you could end up paying more for repairs and labour. Your best bet is to go with a garage that you know and trust.
Top reasons for a failed MOT
We asked our garages what the main reason for a failed MOT Test is. In no particular order, the winners are:
- Incorrect number plate. Missing, dirty, incorrect type – if the number plate doesn’t meet DVLA rules, your vehicle will fail.
- Obscured windscreen. Parking tickets, permits, air fresheners or other paraphernalia stuck to your windscreen will mean an instant fail, if they impede your vision. So, keep your windscreen clear and stick your parking permit outside of the windscreen wiper zone.
- Screen wash. This two minute job will result in a fail if not done.
- Illuminated warning lights. Since 2012, an illuminated warning light will mean an MOT fail. Keep an eye on your dashboard and get your warning lights checked if they flash up.