What is an MOT

To bring the UK mot inline with the rest of the EU countries the following additional items will now be part of the current mot test.

If your vehicle was tested on or after 18th November 2012 your next Mot certificate will now show the vehicles recent mileage history, this has been introduced as part of a government initiative to reduce vehicle crime. Where available, the mileage history will show the readings of the three most recent test passes, along with the dates of those readings.

If you find a mistake in the mileage reading recorded with the current test, the MOT garage that conducted the test will be able to rectify the error within SEVEN DAYS of the test and issue you with a replacement certificate.

Please note if there is a error in an earlier mileage recording then this CAN NOT be changed.

Also from the 18th November 2012 Classic and Historic vehicles, those manufactured before 1 January 1960 will be exempted from the MOT test. Classic and Historic vehicles are often very well maintained by their owners and have a much lower accident and MOT failure rate compared to newer vehicles. The current requirement for an MOT Test goes over and above the obligations set out in European legislation.

Owners of pre 1960 vehicles will still be able to take exempt vehicles for an MOT test on a voluntary basis and will be tested in accordance with the current test standards.

The MOT test check's whether your vehicle meets the minimum legal requirements for the items required to be tested under section 45 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. It does not tell you how long your vehicle will continue to meet these minimum requirements. Therefore, you may still be prosecuted for driving an unroad-worthy vehicle before the end of the current test certificate. You should continue to maintain your vehicle to ensure that it will always pass an MOT.

MOT symbol, 3 triangles

What YOU Must do

  • Turn up on time
  • Have your old certificate if you have it
  • V5 or log book if you have a cherished number plate
  • All the keys available, fuel cap/boot if different
  • Enough fuel, at least ¼ of a tank
  • Oil topped up unless being serviced first
  • Car tidy so a thorough test can be carried out
  • Washed if it is really dirty
  • Any loads on the vehicle secure

The only time that you are allowed to drive your vehicle on the public roads without a current MOT certificate or tax disc is when you are travelling to and from a Previously booked MOT test station for an MOT test or to a garage to get repaired. You still maybe fined if it is in an unroad-worthy condition, if your vehicle is in such a condition collect it with a trailer or recovery truck.

If you have any issues that you would like to help to resolve please do not hesitate to contact us at


Useful Numbers

What gets checked

  • Body and vehicle structure: Free from excessive corrosion or damage in specific areas, no sharp edges likely to cause injury, tow bars for security and condition.
  • Fuel system: No leaks. Fuel cap fastens and seals securely. The fuel cap will need to be opened. Make sure the key is available.
  • Exhaust emissions: Vehicle meets the requirements for exhaust emissions, dependent on age and fuel type of the vehicle.
  • Exhaust system:  Secure, complete, without serious leaks and is not too noisy.
  • Seat belts: All the seat belts installed are checked for type, condition, operation and security. All compulsory seat belts must be in place. More info about child seats.
  • Seats: Front seats secure, front and rear seats backs can be secure in the upright position.
  • Doors: Latch securely in closed position. Front doors should open from the inside and outside of the vehicle. Rear doors need to open from the outside.
  • Mirrors: Minimum number required, condition and security.
  • Load security: Boot or tailgate can be secured in the closed position.
  • Brakes: Condition, operation and performance (efficiency test). Note the removal of the road wheels and trims are not part of the test.
  • Tyres and wheels: Condition, security, tyre size/type and tread depth.
    Spare tyres are not part of the test.
  • Registration plates: Condition, security, colour, characters correctly Formed and spaced. Honey Combed effect can be used on vehicles first used before 2001.
  • Lights: Condition, operation and security. Head lamp aim.
  • Bonnet: Securely latches in the closed position.
  • Wipers/washers: Operate to give the driver a clear view ahead.
  • Windscreen: Condition and driver’s view of the road.
  • Horn: Correct operation and of suitable type.
  • Steering and suspension: Condition and operation.
  • Vehicle identification number: Present on vehicles first used on or after 1 August 1980. Not more than one different VIN is displayed except on Multistage build vehicles.

An MOT certificate confirms that at the time of the test, without dismantling, the vehicle met the minimum acceptable environmental and road safety standards required by law. It does not mean that the vehicle is road worthy for the life of the certificate. The test does not cover the condition of the engine, clutch, gearbox or Wheel Alignment.

If the car fails the MOT, is the old MOT test certificate still valid until its expiry date?

An MOT test certificate is valid until the expiry date, however if your vehicle fails before this date and you do not rectify the defects then you are knowingly driving a defective vehicle. Which is a criminal offence

image: car seat image: car exhaust image: car Registration Plate


Exhaust system: Secure, complete, without serious leaks and is not too noisy. Overall security is checked even if a rubber mounting is missing and the exhaust is still secure then this would pass.

Repair bandages are acceptable as long as it prevents leaks and is structurally sound. A minor leak is allowed, a small pin hole or leak between joins.

Noise is relative to an exhaust of a standard type in average condition of the same vehicle.

Registration plates: Condition, security, colour and characters correctly Formed and spaced. Before September 2001 a honey comb effect and 3D carbon fibre effect can be used as long as the correct font is being used. Use our phonetic alphabet to help you order your new number plate.

Mirrors: Minimum number required, condition and security. Two mirrors are required offside and either nearside or the interior mirror. If your vehicle has over 7 passenger seats then two mirrors are needed including the offside mirror.

Useful Numbers

image: new tyres symbol

0870 33 00 444 Confirm that you have a genuine certificate.

0300 12 39 000 Appeal Help line if you disagree with the outcome.


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