MOT History

The History of the MOT

The full history of the United Kingdom MOT test since its introduction in 1960

1960 MOT test introduced for vehicles over 10 years old covering brakes, lights and steering
1962Commercial Vehicle test inaugurated
Valid MOT certificate now needed in order to obtain tax disc
1965Brake stop lamps were made compulsory in the UK All new cars must have flashing turn indicators from 1st September
1967Annual MOT test for all cars over three years old, replaces the ten year requirement introduced in 1960
1968New tyre tread regulations require 1mm of tread across three-quarters of its width.
Tyre checks added to MOT test
1975Front number plates on motorcycles abolished
1978MOT test now includes windscreen washers, wipers, indicators, spotlights, horn, body structure and exhaust systems
1983MOT test for taxis and vehicles with more than eight passenger seats reduced to vehicles over one year old
1991MOT test to include petrol emissions, anti-lock braking and rear seat belts
1992Minimum tyre tread depth of 1.6mm is introduced
1993MOT test extended to cover many smaller items including rear fog lamps, registration plates and mirrors
1994MOT test includes diesel emissions
2012The MOT test as radically overhauled with many items not previously included in the test now becoming standard. It also sees the introduction in Great Britain of 'receipt style' plain paper certificates that serve as a notification that a 'pass' entry has been recorded on the DVSA database. The MOT test number contained on the certificate gives access to the vehicle's current test status as well as its entire test history, via the DVSA web site. MOT certificates in Northern Ireland continue to be issued on paper, accompanied by a paper 'certificate disc' which must be displayed on the vehicle. Display of these discs has been mandatory on Northern Ireland tested cars since 2008.
2012From 18 November, the MOT certificate now shows the vehicle's recent mileage history. This has been introduced as part of a government initiative to reduce vehicle crime. Where available, the mileage history will comprise the readings associated with the three most recent VT20s (test passes) along with the date of those readings.

In June 2013, the Minister issued a statement to the House of Commons outlining changes to the role of the Agency following the consultation on the Department's Motoring Services strategy as part of DfT's commitment to delivering better quality and better value services to the public and business.

A decision was made to create a new single agency through the merging of the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) and the Driving Standards Agency (DSA). This will enable a single agency to deliver the same high quality service, while making it easier for customers to navigate the services offered, and will reduce the administrative burden for those individuals and businesses that currently have regular contact with both DSA and VOSA.

In November 2013, the Minister announced that the new agency will be called the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA). Furthermore DSA and VOSA will continue to be two separate trading funds until April 2015 when DVSA will gain trading fund status. This Report will now go on to focus on the performance of VOSA-related activity, with a separate Report also being produced for DSA's performance during 2013/14.

We met or exceeded 19 of our 22 key performance measures. Particular success stories during 2013/14 include:
  • Further growth in the Authorised Testing Facility (ATF) network with in excess of 400 sites by March 2014 compared with the first three contracts being signed in 2010!

  • 77% of Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) and Public Service Vehicle (PSV) tests were carried out at non-VOSA sites in March 2014 compared with just 21% five years earlier, and the figure has now exceeded 80%

  • Extending our geographic coverage of the ATF network including sites on Shetland and the Outer Hebrides

  • A further year on year improvement in the proportion of HGVs passing the test first time with 80.8% passing compared with 77.6% in 2012/13 and 75.3% in 2011/12

  • Putting systems, technology and training in place enabling us to successfully introduce the new HGV Road User Levy on 1 April 2014. Initial compliance rates have been encouragingly good

  • Working towards implementing a new approach to how the MOT scheme systems operate for over 22,000 garages; this year has involved ensuring good MOT trade representation including trade surveys

  • Achieving our financial recovery a full year ahead of the original five year plan with a positive closing balance on the General Fund of £9.8m in March 2014 compared with a significant deficit at 1 April 2010 of £46.6m. This is an exceptional achievement when you take into account the economic climate and in particular, increasing costs and no general fee increases since 2009. I would like to take this opportunity to thank staff throughout the Agency for their contribution towards achieving this.

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