As most car owners will be aware, all cars and motorcycles in Great Britain and Northern Ireland require a valid MOT certificate to drive or park on public roads. To be deemed roadworthy a vehicle needs to pass its MOT test once a year, if it's over 3 years old. If your car doesn't meet the MOT requirements you'll have to declare it off-the-road.
In this guide, we’ll answer some commonly asked questions about MOTs, helping you understand what’s required and what’s involved in getting your car tested.
What can i expect at an MOT?
With a network of over 10,000 tried and trusted garages, you can rest assured our partner MotorEasy will do everything they can to make the experience as convenient as possible. You can even have your car collected and dropped back off to a place of your choice should you require it.
Alongside expert engineers, who will monitor the work from beginning to end and ensure the quality of service, you can access a repair tracker within your MotorEasy account. Providing you with real-time updates on the progress of your booking, keeping you informed every step of the way.
If repairs are required, engineers will shop around for the best rates, passing on trade discounts straight to members saving you money and hassle..
What is included in an MOT
A standard MOT test checks your car meets road safety and environmental standards in these areas:
- Body, car structure and towbars
- Fuel system
- Exhaust system and emissions
- Seats and seatbelts
- Bonnet, doors, mirrors and load security
- Tyres and wheels
- Registration plates
- Windscreen, wipers and washers
- Steering and suspension
- Vehicle identification number (VIN)
- Electrical wiring and the battery
How long does an MOT take?
The average MOT test in the UK takes anywhere between 45 minutes and an hour. Obviously, this average takes into account the fact a large number of vehicles will pass without needing any labour or parts replacing. For this reason, the timing can vary depending on the status of your vehicle.
A test centre is unable to allow you to drive away if your car has failed to pass its MOT, except if you're taking your car to have the necessary repairs or your existing MOT certificate is still valid. In this instance, you need to be prepared to be without a vehicle until the repairs are completed.
Also, many test centres will be too busy to MOT your car straight away, and will ask you to drop the car off in the morning so that it is waiting as soon as they are ready to begin the test. This will be discussed with you but in most cases expect the possibility of being without your car for multiple hours, or even the whole day.
How often do I need to get an MOT?
You must get an MOT for your vehicle by either the third anniversary of it's registration, or by the anniversary of it's last MOT, if the vehicle is over 3 years old. If your MOT runs out, you won't be able to drive or park your vehicle on the road so make sure to renew your MOT before the anniversary date, to account for any repairs you may need to make, or to go through the process of declaring it off-the-road if you need to.
Some drivers prefer to match up their MOT with the time of year they renew their car insurance policy, and to renew both at the same time. If you're looking to do this, use our price comparison service to find cheap car insurance options to go alongside your MOT.
Last reviewed: 1 June 2023
Next review: 1 July 2023