Know More About MOT Test

MOT is conducted by the Ministry Of Transport every year to ensure the vehicle is safe to drive. The test checks up on the safety standards of the vehicle. It also includes checking the overall exhaust emissions of the vehicle, which might adversely pollute the environment. Similar tests are conducted in other countries to keep track of vehicles running on the road and if they are safe for people or not.

The Test

The test was introduced more than six decades ago in 1960 and had only a few basic tests then. Now, the test includes various other parts and systems as well.

As mentioned earlier, this test is necessary to ensure the roadworthiness of all the vehicles. Hence, every vehicle which is three or more years old has to undergo the MOT test. Other countries also have more or less similar criteria regarding the “age” of the Car Service Derby. While this test is mandatory for almost every vehicle in the country, it does not apply to the vehicles which are not used on the road directly or are used very rarely or on islands without a convenient connection to the roads. MOT test is done only for some parts of the vehicle. It includes – 

  • Body of the vehicle & its structure
  • Towbars
  • Fuel System
  • Exhaust Emission
  • Exhaust System
  • Seatbelts, seats, doors, and mirrors


The test checks your vehicle’s important parts whether they meet the legally set standards or not. This test is conducted at centres authorized by the government. The identification mark of an authorized centre is an official blue sign with three triangles. You can find your nearby centre on websites provided by the government according to your location and take your vehicle annually for going through the test if it is older than three years or more. During the test, the vehicle will be checked from every aspect, including the lights, mirrors, wipers, seatbelts and brakes. It also checks the fuel system of the vehicle and its overall emission. However, it does not check the condition of the engine, gearbox and clutch of the vehicle. The test approximately takes forty to sixty minutes on average.

Changes Made In Recent Years

There have been a few major changes in the test over the years. 

  • In the year 2012, a lot more items were added to the test, which was previously not included.
  • In the same year, a certificate for ‘passing’ the test was introduced by DFT. The certificate contains all the details of the vehicle, including its history and current condition.
  • In May 2018, some further changes were made to the procedure of the test and reporting. However, the essence of the test remained unchanged. 
  • In 2019, the test was changed to comply with the new ‘connected equipment legislation’. These changes were only applicable to any new applications for opening new or reopening an MOT Test Derby or applications regarding a change in ownership.
  • April 1, 2020, marked as a new change. Due to the pandemic, the certificate’s expiration date was extended by six months if it was due on or after 30 March 2020. These changes granted a 6-month exemption to all the vehicle owners, but it was still mandatory to keep these vehicles in a proper roadworthy condition. 
  • On 1st February 2021, The Department for Transport announced a ban on tyres which are more than ten years old and it is said that buses and coaches cannot have them anymore.

What Happens if You Fail the Test?

If you go for MOT and fail, and your vehicle has a big issue, the centre will not allow you to leave until it is resolved. However, if they decide to keep the vehicle at the centre, this process may take more time as the vehicle will need repairing in the problematic areas.  After all the issues are fixed, you should arrange an MOT Retest within ten working days.

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