MOT FAQs answered

Monday 7th June 2021

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Getting ready to book in for your MOT test, but have a couple of queries? Our informative MOT advice section has you covered – but for ease, we’ve compiled these commonly asked questions into a handy guide. Find your MOT FAQ answered today – and, if your query is left unanswered, feel free to get in touch with our friendly team now.

MOT test frequently asked questions

What is an MOT test?

An MOT test – also known as a Ministry of Transport test – is an annual test which is conducted on a vehicle to assess roadworthiness and vehicle safety. There are many elements included in an MOT test, such as checks of the lights, number plate, horn, bonnet, windscreen, exhausts and emissions, and suspension.

How often do I need an MOT test?

If your vehicle is over 3 years old, it will need its MOT test annually.

There are some vehicles which are exempt – including historic vehicles – as well as large vehicle, such as large goods vehicle more than 3.5 tonnes, buses, or public service vehicles. Learn more about MOT exempt vehicles.

When is the earliest I can MOT my car?

An MOT certificate is valid for one year – however, you can renew your vehicle even earlier if required.

You can MOT your vehicle up to a month (minus a day) before it runs out, and your renewal date will still stay the same on your certificate for next year. Learn more about how early you can have your MOT test.

What can fail an MOT?

Some of the most common reasons that your vehicle could fail its MOT are:

  • Tyres – details such as tyre pressure, tread depth and tyre wear will be checked, and can often lead to a failed MOT test!
  • Brakes – even if your brakes do not fail your MOT test, you may be issued advisories based on how worn your brake components are.
  • Seatbelts – if your seatbelt is cut or frayed, this can result in an MOT fail.

Learn more about what can cause a vehicle to fail its MOT.

What is the ‘MOT Grace Period’?

The MOT grace period is a misconception that there is a two-week ‘grace period’ for lapsed MOTs. However, this is simply a myth – and is not true. If your MOT has expired, it is illegal to be driving your vehicle out and about on the road. The only exceptions to this rule are:

  • If you’re driving to a pre-arranged MOT appointment
  • If you’re driving to have repairs conducted on your vehicle from a failed MOT test

How do I check my MOT history?

The easiest way to check your MOT history is from the website. This free-to-use service will prompt you to enter your vehicle registration number, confirm whether this brings up the correct vehicle, and then you will be presented with your vehicle’s MOT test history. This will show you:

  • Pass/fail rate
  • Test date
  • Test certificate
  • MOT test number
  • Expiry date
  • Test location
  • MOT advisories

Learn more about what’s included on the MOT test history check from our guide.

Can you drive without an MOT?

Simply, no – you are not legally allowed to drive your vehicle without a valid MOT certificate. If your car is more than three years old, it will require an annual MOT test if you are driving it on public roads. However, the only exceptions to this rule are:

  • If you’re driving to a pre-arranged MOT appointment
  • If you’re driving to have repairs conducted on your vehicle from a failed MOT test

If you are caught driving without an MOT, you are likely to receive a fine of up to £1,000 and your vehicle may be impounded. This could also invalidate your insurance – which means that, if you are involved in an accident, this could compromise not only your safety if your vehicle is not legally safe to be on the roads, but also your accountability in the accident, too.

What are the MOT classes?

When your vehicle has its annual MOT test, it will be categorised into one of eight MOT classes. These are:

  • Class 1
  • Class 2
  • Class 3
  • Class 4
  • Class 4a
  • Class 5
  • Class 5a
  • Class 7

Learn more about MOT classes from our informative guide.

How long does an MOT take?

An MOT test usually takes around 45 minutes to 1 hour at your local Formula One Autocentres.

How much does an MOT cost?

At your local Formula One Autocentres, the maximum charge you would receive for an MOT test is £54.85 – but we strive to bring you the most competitive prices on your vehicle’s MOT test throughout the year with extensive sales and discounts (so keep your eyes peeled!). For now, check out our latest MOT prices.

Ready to book in for your vehicle’s MOT test? Locate your nearest Formula One Autocentres today.

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