Blog / The MOT and why you need it

Monday, November 28, 2016


Everyone who uses a vehicle on the road must keep it in a roadworthy condition and the MOT test checks that vehicles meet road safety and environmental standards.

The first MOT test for a vehicle is required when it is three years old and then annually after the first test. There are different rules if the vehicle is used as a taxi. It is illegal to drive a vehicle that requires a test on public roads without a current MOT, except when driving to or from a pre-booked MOT Test.  MOT refers to the test that is carried out the pass certificate is the VT20 issued on behalf of VOSA. 

The MOT certificate confirms that at the time of the test, without dismantling it, the vehicle met the minimum acceptable environmental and road safety standards required by law.


The MOT looks at some important items on your car to see that they meet key legal requirements at the time of test:

  • the body and vehicle structure is free from excessive corrosion or damage in specific areas and there are no sharp edges likely to cause injury
  • the fuel system has no leaks and the fuel cap fastens and seals securely - if a locking type, the must be available
  • the vehicle meets the requirements for <strong">exhaust emissions, dependant on the age and fuel type
  • the exhaust system is secure, complete, without serious leaks and silences effectively
  • all seatbelts installed are checked for type, condition, operation and security. All compulsory seat belts must be in place
  • the front seats are secure and front and rear seatbacks can be secured in the upright position
  • the doors latch securely in closed position with front doors opening from inside and outside the vehicle - rear doors may need to be opened to gain access to testable items
  • the minimum numbers of mirrors are on the vehicle, their condition and security
  • load security - boot or tailgate can be secured in the closed position
  • the condition, operation and performance of brakes (efficiency test) - removal of road wheels is not part of the test
  • the condition, security, size, type and tread depth of wheels and tyres - spare tyres are not inspected
  • the condition and security of registration plates and that the characters are correctly formed and spaced
  • the condition, operation and security of lights and that headlamp aim is correctly set
  • the bonnet securely latches in the closed position
  • the wipers and washers operate to give the driver a clear view ahead
  • the condition of the windscreen and the driver's view of the road
  • the horn operates correctly and is of a suitable type
  • the steering and suspension are of a satisfactory condition and operation
  • the vehicle identification number (VIN) is on vehicles first used on or after 1 August 1980. Not more than one different VIN is displayed except on multistage build vehicles.


If your vehicle fails it's MOT but remains at the test station for repair after failure, then it can have a FREE re-test up to 10 working days after the original test - the 10 days does not include weekends or bank holidays so the period is closer to two full weeks.
If the vehicle is removed from the test station or after the 10-day period a full fee can be charged again.


You can't obtain a new tax disc without up-to-date VT20 test certificate! 
To cover yourself driving without an MOT you can actually have your car tested up to month before. In the event of failure repairs can be done within days and your new MOT will run as soon as your existing MOT is finished.

Tagged: MOT safety

Share This