RAC Cars News


All About The MOT

By raccars Published

Image Source

Along with insurance and VED (road tax), a valid MOT certificate is a legal requirement of car ownership. The MOT is considered proof that your car is roadworthy. It does not show that there are no mechanical faults on your car and does not offer any remedial work.

It makes sense to try and arrange your car service interval to coincide with it MOT date, as a service will most likely pick up and remedy any possible MOT failure points. Alternatively, most garages offer a 'pre-MOT' option, to find and fix specific MOT susceptible issues. No repair work will be performed as part of the MOT test itself, even if faults are discovered.

Cars need their first MOT at three years of age and then every year after that. Driving without a valid MOT could leave you subject to a fine of £1,000. Cars first registered before 1960 are exempt from the requirement for an MOT.

The test itself covers a number of areas:

The car is placed on a special roller arrangement to check the condition and effectiveness of the brakes; the integrity of the fuel system and filler cap are tested, as are all the lights and the horn. Seatbelts and seats will be examined, along with the vehicle's structure in case of rust and other damage. The exhaust will be measured for emissions and tested for leaks, the wheels, tyres, steering and suspension will all be verified. Also, tyres must be of the right type. The test will also check that doors open and close properly and that mirrors are in good condition. The condition of the engine, gearbox and clutch is not covered during the test.

All tests are done visually and nothing is taken apart.

The certificate cannot be obtained from just any old garage - to arrange an MOT you will need to contact a government registered test centre. These can be identified by displaying a blue sign with three white triangles.

The test must be carried out on or before the car's first registration date. If you renew the MOT within the last valid month, it will be dated from the registration date to give you a full year certificate. You don't need to take any documents with you to the test centre as the system is fully computerised. Fees are set by the government so check beforehand to make sure you are not being overcharged - at the moment the maximum you can be charged for a car MOT is £54.85.

Looking to Buy?
Search for cars