Quick Introduction To MOT Test

By Ashutosh Jha → Last Updated on Friday, July 2, 2021
Ensuring cars are roadworthy is a task that the United Kingdom authorities take seriously. All vehicles over three years have to undertake an annual MOT test for owners to continue using them on the road. There are several things that they can do to ensure one’s vehicle is in good shape and has a chance of clearing the MOT so that there is no need to go in for a retest.


What is MOT?

There are authorized test centers across the country that go through the test. Aiming to ensure that the car is road safe and meets the desired environment standards, the MOT includes several checks on cars that range from brakes, mirrors, lights to fuel systems, windscreens, wipers, and so on. However, the MOT check does the gearbox, clutch, and engine condition are not checked under the MOT.

Finding an MOT center across the UK is not too hard as several garages are authorized to conduct these tests and issue the certificates. But in Northern Ireland, the test is carried out only by official centers, which are few and scattered. Finding the nearest authorized center can be done with ease online by heading to the UK MOT site for individuals residing in Scotland, Wales, and England. At the same time, those in Northern Ireland can head over to the NIDirect site and get the required information.

Why do cars fail the MOT test?

Often, vehicles being taken for their first MOT test fail due to the owner's oversight. It is always better to fix things that can be rectified before taking the vehicle for the test. Some of these minor faults include:

  • Leaving the screen wash without topping it up
  • Having stickers on the windscreen that can be seen as a hazard if they obstruct the driver’s viewing area
  • Having a dirty or cluttered car
  • Having lit-up warning lights on the dashboard that the DVLA does not approve of
  • Having improper registration plates in terms of incorrect font type, spacing, other personalization that is not permitted, etc. Whatever work has been done on the registration plate needs to adhere to the rules of the DVLA

How can you ensure your car will pass the test?

To ensure that the vehicle meets the basic requirements to receive the MOT certificate, proper maintenance and regular servicing are a must. Apart from these, there are a few more things to keep in mind:

  • Inspect the car to ensure that all the basic requirements (as mentioned above) are in place. If something needs to be fixed, fix it before taking the car for the test
  • Ensure your headlights, indicators, brake lights, and other beams are working. If they are not working properly, have them replaced
  • Tires should possess the tread depth specified by the authorities and should have the right pressure so that they receive the stamp of approval
  • Check to make sure the tension in the handbrake is proper – it needs to remain sturdy and should not slide without resistance
  • The driver’s seat adjustments along with the seatbelt need to be in proper shape
  • The windscreen should be in good condition. Any damage larger than 10 mm should be dealt with to avoid receiving a direct ‘fail’ on the test. Similarly, the wipers should not have holes or tears in the rubber and should effectively clean the windscreen

Apart from these basics, the suspension, shock absorbers, horn, fuel, and engine oil are things that should be checked to ensure they are in proper condition. To check for exhaust leaks, start the engine and listen carefully to see if any unusual noise or smoke is being emitted which will indicate the need for repairs

What happens when a car fails the MOT test?

As mentioned above, if basic components are not working as they should, the car will likely fail the test. If the vehicle has major issues, the car will not be allowed to leave the center. Individuals can then get the repair work done at the MOT center or can choose to have it done at a local garage which may come cheaper. However, if the previous MOT has not expired, the individual may be able to take the car away even if it has major faults.

By fixing the faults and going in for a retest, the car will be roadworthy again. In addition, leaving the car for repairs at the test center itself may allow you to obtain a retest for free, however, this offer is usually available only within a few days. If the vehicle is taken away for repairs and brought back on the same day for the retest, the test is done for free.

What is the duration and cost of an MOT?

The fee charged by the test centers is set by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency so there won’t be much of a difference irrespective of which test center you head to. For motor caravans and cars, the rate is £54.85 while bikes are around £29.65, but most garages charge a price that is lower than this. Sometimes, an MOT might be thrown in when servicing a vehicle.

Roughly, the MOT check takes around forty-five minutes to an hour, if there are no repairs needed. According to the law, cars that have issues cannot be taken by the customers until the problem is fixed. The only exception will be if the existing current certificate is still valid or the car is driven off to get fixed.

Although an all-good vehicle check duration is roughly an hour, many centers expect customers to drop their vehicles off in the morning and collect them by the end of the day, so it is best to have alternate transport arrangements made when dropping the car off.

Lastly, in the case that an individual gets caught driving without a valid MOT, the chances of getting slapped with a fine are high along with getting banned from driving or getting penalty points. This is why it is important to keep your car in good shape so that it does not become a safety hazard for the person driving it or an environmental hazard for everyone else.

People can find the nearest MOT center by looking through the local business directory to make the process easier. They would always be able to pick up on all the changes that were done through the previous MOT tests because all the past MOT details are easily available to call centers.

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Ashutosh Jha

Ashutosh Jha is a professional blogger, Blog and IT Consultant. He writes about Blogging, SEO, Making Money, Internet Marketing and Web Design.
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