posted 4 years ago

Guide To The MOT Test

What Is The Purpose Of The MOT Test?

The MOT test ensures your vehicle meets minimum safety and environmental standards. Typically, a vehicle must be inspected three years after registration, then annually thereafter. However, some – such as an ambulance – need the first inspection after one year. Your vehicle can be tested up to one month before the MOT runs out without changing the anniversary of expiry. For example, if the certificate expires on March 20th – and you have an inspection between February 21st and March 19th - the new certificate will be valid until March 20th the next year. No time  will be added if a vehicle is tested prior to one month before expiry.


What Is Checked During The MOT Test?

The test station must check a wide range of components without disassembling the vehicle. The bodywork, for example, must be free from excessive corrosion, damage to specific parts, and sharp edges that are likely to injure people. The exhaust must be complete, secure, free of serious leaks and not excessively noisy. Emissions must not exceed a specific level based on the vehicle's age. Other checks relate to the: brakes, fuel system, tow bar, seatbelts, seats, warning lights, horn, doors, hinges, mirrors, tailgate, tyres, wheels, registration plates, lights, bonnet catch, windscreen, wipers, washers, steering, suspension, visible electrical wiring, battery and the vehicle identification number.

Note: the pass standard is the minimum a vehicle should maintain throughout the year, not a temporary benchmark to pass the test.

Where Can I Get An MOT Test?

There are about 21,000 authorised test stations in the UK. Each must display a logo that incorporates a blue background and three white triangles. The maximum charge must be also be displayed and is limited by law. Test Stations have the option of charging less.

Who Supervises The MOT Scheme?

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency supervises the MOT Scheme. Within this remit, it authorises businesses to act as Test Stations, monitors performance, sets the standards vehicles must maintain, trains examiners, and handles complaints from customers.

What Can I Do If My Vehicle Wrongly Fails?

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency recommends speaking to a test station representative if you suspect your vehicle has  wrongly failed. If there has been a mistake, this is the test station's opportunity to correct it. If you remain unsatisfied, complete Appeal Form VT17 – which is available from the Test Station - or telephone customer services on 0300 123 9000. The appeal must be logged within fourteen days. You will then receive an appointment to re-test the vehicle at your expense, so it is important it is not repaired/modified within this time. If the appeal is successful some or all of the test fee will be returned. 

What Can I Do If My Vehicle Wrongly Passes?

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency – subject to acceptance of your complaint – will retest the vehicle for free if you suspect it wrongly passed. It does so as part of its quality control and monitoring process and will produce an inspection report. If the vehicle did wrongly pass, the Agency will not seek compensation on your behalf. Any action taken against the station will be private.

What Are The MOT Test Fees


Cost varies based on the type of vehicle. The table below shows the maximum stations can charge. Prices are not subject to VAT.

Class Vehicle type Age first MOT needed (years) MOT test fee
1 Motorbike (engine size up to 200 cm3) 3 £29.65
1 Motorbike with sidecar (engine size up to 200 cm3) 3 £37.80
2 Motorbike (engine size over 200 cm3) 3 £29.65
2 Motorbike with sidecar (engine size over 200 cm3) 3 £37.80
3 3-wheeled vehicles (up to 450kg unladen weight) 3 £37.80
4 3-wheeled vehicles (over 450kg unladen weight) 3 £54.85
4 Cars (up to 8 passenger seats) 3 £54.85
4 Motor caravans 3 £54.85
4 Quads (max unladen weight 400kg - for goods vehicles 550kg and max net power of 15kw) 3 £54.85
4 Dual purpose vehicles 3 £54.85
4 Private hire and public service vehicles (up to 8 seats) 3 £54.85
4 Ambulances and taxis 1 £54.85
4 Private passenger vehicles and ambulances (9 to 12 passenger seats) 1 £57.30
1 Goods vehicles (up to 3,000kg design gross weight) 3 £54.85
4a Class 4 vehicles (9 to 12 passenger seats) with a seat belt installation check n/a £64
5 Private passenger vehicles and ambulances (13 to 16 passenger seats) 1 £59.55
5 Private passenger vehicles and ambulances (more than 16 passenger seats) 1 £80.65
5 Playbuses 1 £80.65
5a Class 5 vehicles (13 to 16 passenger seats) with a seatbelt installation check n/a £80.50
5a Class 5 vehicles (more than 16 passenger seats) with a seatbelt installation check n/a £124.50
7 Goods vehicles (over 3,000kg up to 3,500kg design gross weight) 3 £58.60

How Can I Check MOT Certificates Are Genuine?

MOT certificate authenticity can be checked online – and it is important to do so if buying a used vehicle. Click: