Automotive

A Complete Guide To Preparing Your Car For The Mot Test

If your vehicle is approaching its first MOT, you may have some questions or be worried about the result. Around 40% of cars fail their MOT for over 600 different reasons, but that doesn’t have to be your car. You can feel great going into the test with a little preparation and insider knowledge. To assist you in preparing your vehicle for its first MOT you can always search for MOT testing near me plus we’ve compiled this comprehensive guide that take overs everything you need to know about the test, from how much it costs to the checks you should perform before heading to the garage. Use the links below to navigate, or continue reading for the full guide.

What exactly is a MOT test?

The Ministry of Transport is an annual test examination of your vehicle’s safety and roadworthiness. It’s a legal requirement for vehicles older than three years.

An MOT test ensures that your vehicle is safe to drive on public roads. The test examiner will inspect the inside and outside of your vehicle, testing everything from the brakes to the exhaust emissions.

An MOT usually takes between 40 minutes and an hour to complete. If the examiner discovers a flaw or defect, they will label it as Dangerous, Major,, or Minor. It’s best to be prepared because there are over 600 ways to fail a MOT.

What does a MOT test cover?

The MOT test covers many aspects of your car’s interior and exterior, including:

  • Brakes
  • Lights
  • Mirrors
  • Equipment for safety
  • Electricals
  • The fuel system
  • Suspension

It does not cover the engine, transmission, or clutch because they do not directly affect your vehicle’s safety. However, if your dashboard displays an engine warning light, you may fail the test. 

What are the different types of MOT tests?

If the MOT test examiner discovers a flaw in your vehicle, they will label it as Dangerous, Major, or Minor. Below, we explain in detail what these categories mean for the overall test result.

Dangerous – Faults labelled ‘Dangerous’ pose an immediate threat to road safety or are likely to have a significant environmental impact. Your vehicle will receive an automatic fail, and the garage will advise you not to drive it until it has been repaired.

Major – Major problems result in an automatic MOT test failure, but you may drive home. Use your car only if you’re taking it to a garage for repairs or a rescheduled MOT test.

Minor – Minor faults do not result in a MOT failure, but they are noted on the pass certificate so that they can be repaired before your next test.

MOT testers frequently provide advice on other points, known as advisories, in addition to these three official categories. It’s worth investigating these as they could help you avoid a failed MOT test in the future.

Where do I take my car for its annual inspection?

When planning from where to take your car for a MOT, you have a few options, including:

Dealership/franchise from the manufacturer – Depending on your vehicle, you may want to take it to a manufacturer’s outlet. They are best suited to perform specialised repair work, but they are also the most expensive.

Independent garage – Many local garages have an in-house technician who is qualified to perform MOT testing. This is one of the most cheap options, but prices can vary. For finding a reputable local garage, we recommend the Good Garage Scheme.

Fast fit – Fast fit outlets include Halfords and Kwik Fit.

When is a MOT required?

After the third year, your car will require a MOT once a year. Its first MOT will usually take place 

36 months after it was first registered on the road.

How do you know when your car’s MOT is up for renewal? That’s simple. Simply enter your registration number into the DVLA’s MOT checker. 

You can view the date of your next MOT, access its most recent test certificates (if applicable), and sign up to receive a MOT reminder via email or text message from this page. Note that a new MOT test can be performed one month before the current certificate expires, givingA Complete Guide To Preparing Your Car For The Mot Test you greater control over when your vehicle is tested.

What is the cost of a MOT?

MOT fees vary, but are capped at £54.85 excluding VAT. If you book ahead of time with a reputable garage, you should never have to pay the full amount. Most garages and MOT test centres, in our experience, charge between £30-£50. The price you pay will vary depending on how and when you book. We always recommend conducting some online research to find the best MOT prices in your area. Don’t be tempted by a MOT test centre that appears to be too good to be true, because it probably is. For example, if you find a deal for a £20 MOT, the garage will almost certainly inflate the repair costs to cover their costs.

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