1 - What is an MOT?

The MOT scheme is primarily a road safety measure designed to ensure as far as possible that all cars, motorcycles and light goods vehicles more than 3 years old
  • are properly maintained and;
  • at least once a year are examined at an authorised MOT test station to make sure that they comply with certain important requirements of the law

M.O.T. Stands for Ministry Of Transport

Remember- the test certificate relates only to the condition of the testable items at the time of the test and should not be regarded as evidence of their condition at any other time; nor should it be accepted as evidence of the general mechanical condition of the vehicle

2 - Can I watch an MOT vehicle inspection?

Yes providing you do not cause any interference to the test.

3 - Can my vehicle be driven on a highway after failing a pre-test?

Cars and motorcycles MUST normally pass an MOT test three years from the date of the first registration and every year after that. You MUST NOT drive a vehicle without an MOT certificate, when it should have one. Driving an unroadworthy vehicle may invalidate your insurance. Exceptionally, you may drive to a pre-arranged test appointment or to a garage for repairs required for the test.

4 - How long do I have after failing an MOT before the second test?

There is no set time limit before a retest and it is at the discretion of the individual. Remember - a car that does not have a current MOT Certificate is not allowed to be used on the road except when going for repairs for a test, or to a prearranged test.

5 - How much does an MOT cost?

Test Class   Fee
Class I & II    
Solo motorbicycles   £29.65
Class II    
Motorbicycle combinations   £37.80
Class III    
Three wheeled vehicles   £37.80
Class IV    
Cars & light vans   £54.85
Minibuses   £54.85
Class IVA    
Minibuses with additional seatbelts   £64.00
Class V    
Non-PSV minibuses and buses (13-16 passenger seats)   £59.55
Non-PSV minibuses and buses (17 or more passenger seats)   £74.10
Class VA    
Non-PSV minibuses and buses with additional seat belts (13-16 passenger seats)   £80.50
Non-PSV minibuses and buses with additional seat belts (17 or more passenger seats)   £124.50
Class VII    
Light goods vehicles   £58.60

6 - Do all test centres give a free re-test?

Yes subject to conditions. Click here for more information

7 - When is my car eligible for its first MOT?

When it is three years old. This is the 3rd year of the vehicles registration

8 - How long does an MOT test take?

Approximately 45 minutes, but varies.

9 - Do I need to make an appointment for my car to be tested?

Normally yes but this is not always the case. It is ideal to contact the garage before you arrive

10 - Am I notified by the VIA when my test date is due?

Unlike road tax, where you receive a reminder, the mot test is your responsibility.

11 - My MOT is due on the 1/2/2013. Can I take it before that date?

Yes, but the MOT certificate is only valid for 12 months from the date of the test.

12 - Do I need to stay with my vehicle?

Normally no - the process can take over 45 mins to complete. The tester will ask you to stay if he needs you

13 - I have lost my MOT certificate, can I get a duplicate copy?

Yes - The simplest way is to go back to the garage where the vehicle was tested, tell them the approximate date of the test and they should be able to give you a duplicate certificate. The fee is £10.00.
If you do not have the details of the garage (i.e. You have just bought the car) The Vehicle Inspectorate (0845 600 5977) may be able to help.

14 - Do test stations have the discretion to pass historic American vehicles?

No - No, they don’t! American imports often have ‘dual function’ lamps, where the indicators may be incorporated with the position lamps or stop lamps. This aspect of the test is covered in Inspection Manual (IM), under Section 1.4 (Direction Indicators and Hazard Warning Lamps) and 1.2 (Stop Lamps).

Section 1.4 states that “Vehicles first used before 1 September 1965 may have direction indicators incorporated with stop lamps, or combined with front or rear position lamps, in which case front indicators may be white and rear indicators red.”

Due to the age of the vehicle in question, it will fail the test unless the rear indicators are converted to amber. The legislative basis for this requirement is contained in the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989 (amended).

This is not the first time that our attention has been directed to red rear indicators on post-1965 American vehicles with a clear MOT test history. As we don’t know what condition this vehicle was presented in previously, there’s no telling whether

a tester has missed anything – but two wrongs don’t make a right – the presenter has been lucky in previous years but will have to accept that these will fail the MOT test in future.

American vehicles with red rear indicators, while not a common sight on British roads, are widespread enough that any tester not familiar with the requirements for direction indicators should be advised – there is no exemption for any vehicle to have red rear indicators if it was first used on or after 1 September 1965.

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