What is an MOT?

Thursday 13th August 2020

what is an mot

What does MOT stand for?

An MOT test, otherwise known as Ministry of Transport test, is an annual test which is conducted to assess roadworthiness and vehicle safety. This test is a legal requirement by UK law once a vehicle is three years old, and the test must be conducted every year. For more information on the MOT test, take a look at our extensive MOT guide.

Commonly asked MOT questions

What is checked on an MOT?

There are multiple elements and components of a vehicle that are checked during an MOT test. Some of these include:

  • Exhausts and emissions
  • Steering
  • Windscreen
  • Bonnet catch
  • Horn
  • Number plate
  • Lights
  • Brakes
  • Suspension
  • Body and structure

For a full breakdown and detailed list, consult our detailed guide into what is included in an MOT.

What can fail an MOT?

Another commonly asked question regarding MOTs is what a car can fail an MOT on. Some of the most common MOT failures result from:

  • Tyres – elements such as tyre pressure and tread depth can cause MOT failures.
  • Seatbelts – a frayed or cut seatbelt will fail an MOT test.  
  • Visibility – if you have obstructions to the windscreen, such as ineffective wipers or car air fresheners, this can also cause vehicles to fail their MOT test.

Learn more about what can fail an MOT, such as inadequate lighting and suspension, from our detailed guide.

What happens if you drive without an mot?

According to UK law, it is a requirement to have a valid MOT certificate – and your vehicle cannot be legally driven without one. Therefore, if you are found driving without a valid MOT certificate, a fine of a maximum of £1,000 can be issued and, in some cases, the vehicle may also be impounded. Learn more about driving with an expired MOT and what happens if you drive without an MOT from our informative guide.

Find more information and advice on vehicle MOTs from our designated MOT advice section. Alternatively, if you’re ready to book your MOT online, locate your nearest Formula One Autocentre now.

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What people are saying about us...

  • Friendly staff and COVID secure environment. Thanks for your advice regarding MOT advisories.

    - Ian, Northampton (Gambrel Road) - Oct 26, 2020
  • Special thanks to the guy who answered the phone on the morning of Friday 16th Oct. My vehicle (V939HBK) developed a fault on the morning of the MOT test (that day) so I could not present it. He cancelled the appointment and offered a later date. I managed to fix the problem later on the 16th, rang him back, and he was able to offer me a test on the next day (Sat 17th) saving me loads of grief. Excellent service from him and your company and at a good price. Thanks.

    - Peter, Reading - Oct 18, 2020
  • Great service as always, great price and completed quickly. Very polite booking in and kept me updated on progress. Spot on.

    - Swindon - Oct 2, 2020
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