If your vehicle is 3 years old or more, you are required by law to have an MOT. The Ministry of Transport test, commonly known as the MOT test, is an annual safety check to ensure the vehicle meets minimum safety standards and levels of exhaust emissions set out by the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, formerly VOSA).
All vehicles 3 years old or more are required to have a valid MOT test certificate which should be renewed annually. It is your responsibility to ensure your vehicle is examined every 12 months. You can find the expiry date of your MOT on your existing MOT test certificate and you can have your vehicle MOT tested up to 28 days in advance. The expiry date on your new MOT is 12 months from the expiry of your old one rather than 12 months from the day you took the test, so as long as your MOT test is due in the next 28 days, you won’t lose any days for having your vehicle tested early.
Without a current MOT certificate, you will be unable to drive your vehicle lawfully or renew your road tax. The penalty for not having an up to date MOT certificate could be a fine. Also if the vehicle is involved in an accident you may be asked to produce your MOT certificate. An insurance claim could be affected by the absence of your MOT, especially in the case of injury.
The MOT test ensures the vehicle is in roadworthy condition. However, it is not the same as having your vehicle serviced and the MOT test does not check the general mechanical condition of the vehicle.
The result of each check is recorded – if the vehicle passes, the driver is issued with a VT20 ‘pass’ certificate. If the vehicle fails to meet the required standards set out by the DVSA then a VT30 ‘failure’ document is issued. The assessment is based on the condition of the vehicle on the day.
The nominated tester will separately list and inform you of any ‘advisory’ items that have passed the test but will require attention in the near future so you can keep an eye on them.
The acceptable standards are as recorded in the current