If you own a car that is three years older, or more, you will need to arrange an annual test of your vehicle’s safety; this is also known as your MOT.
MOT refers to the now defunct Ministry of Transport government department, which originally introduced the test back in 1960. The annual test is now administered by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) but the name MOT has been retained.
The MOT test itself need to be carried out by an authorised and qualified testing centre, such as your local Stoneacre service centre. The test usually lasts up to 40 minutes, during which time the following areas of your car will be inspected and safety checked:
• Lighting and signaling equipment
• Steering (including suspension)
• Tyres and wheels
• Seat belts
• Body, structure and general components, such as spoilers, bumpers and mirror housings.
• Exhaust, fuel and emissions
• Driver’s view of the road
Does my brand new car need an MOT?
The simple answer to this question is no.
If your car is under three years old, it does not require an MOT test. It is only after your car reaches the third anniversary of its first registration that the MOT is required. So, if you buy a new car on the 1st May, 2017, its first MOT test will be due on the 1st May, 2020.
What if my car is older than three years?
If your car is over three years old, it will need an MOT Test every year.
Once an MOT test has been performed, the next test is automatically then due exactly one year after. In theory, this will be on the same date every year. However, MOT tests can be carried out up to a month before expiry, so this date could change each year.
The best way to identify when your car’s next MOT test is due is to check status of MOT by looking on the VT20 MOT certificate. This will show you when the current MOT expires and therefore the date by when the next test should be carried out.
If you don’t have a copy of the VT20 MOT certificate, you can always get an MOT status check by visiting the government’s website at www.gov.uk/check-mot-status. By following the instructions and entering a few details, you’ll quickly find your MOT due date.
Once you have established the date your next MOT is due, you can schedule the test up to four weeks before. As soon as your car is MOT tested, the current certificate will become invalid so if your car fails its MOT test, you will need to have any work done to rectify any faults and then retested before it can be driven on public roads.
To make sure your car receives the best possible MOT inspection and testing, book it in with a fully authorised testing centre like Stoneacre. You’ll find a fully equipped MOT centre and highly trained technicians will work on your car.