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MOT: Your Complete Guide

MOT: Your Complete Guide

If your vehicle is more than three years old, it is essential that it goes through an MOT test to make sure that it is safe and roadworthy.

The MOT (Ministry of Transport) test is designed to check whether your vehicle meets specific standards for road safety and environmental impact. If you are buying a vehicle that is over three years old, or you are unsure when your MOT is due, it is easy to check on the GOV site. This will tell you when the MOT is due and give you a summary of mileage, passes, failures and advice notices from current and previous tests.

Can I drive without an MOT certificate?

Once your car passes its third birthday, it needs to be tested every year. The second your car passes the expiry date on your MOT certificate, you are driving illegally.

The only time that it is permitted for you to drive without an MOT in place is when you are on your way to the MOT test, provided you have your test booked already.

What if I am not planning on driving my vehicle?

If your MOT certificate has expired but you are not planning on driving your vehicle for a while, you can delay renewing the MOT. However, your vehicle must be stored off road and you will need to complete a SORN. SORN – Statutory Off Road Notification – lets the DVLA know that you own a vehicle but you are not planning on taking it on the road. This will allow you to go without tax, MOT certificate and insurance. Once you decide to get your vehicle back on the road, you will need to declare it, get it MOT tested and taxed, and renew the insurance.

Can I help my vehicle to pass?

While full services of your vehicle are advisable to keep it in top condition, MOT tests ensure that they are safe to drive. This includes checking basics like windscreen wipers, lights, and tyre pressure. There are a few things that you can do to save some money and help your vehicle to pass its MOT:

  • Make sure that your number plates are clean and unobstructed.
  • Check your windscreen wipers are in good condition.
  • Take a look at your tyre tread – if in doubt, pop to a tyre specialist beforehand.
  • Check oil, screen wash and brake fluid.
  • Check all your lights are working and, if you can, replace bulbs if needed.
  • Check your horn! It should be loud enough for others to hear.

Other elements of the MOT test are more complex and will need a skilled mechanic to assess them and conduct any necessary repairs. Follow Trust A Garage on Facebook or X for more information and advice to help you to keep safe on the road, and check out next week’s blog where we will go into more detail about the different checks undertaken during the MOT test.


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