Everything you need to know before your very first MOT
So, you’ve passed your test on you’re on the road. Congratulations!
If you’re like most first-time drivers, your first car is probably second-hand. It’s therefore important that you get clued up on the rules and regulations surrounding MOTs so you know exactly what to do when the time comes for your car’s next test. In this article, we’ve answered all the most frequently asked questions about MOTs. So, read on to find out everything you need to know before your very first MOT test.
What is an MOT test?An MOT test checks a vehicle’s roadworthiness. The checks are made by an accredited mechanic, who tests that every aspect of your car meets legal standards, from the headlights to the brakes.
When do I need to get an MOT?A car needs to undergo its first MOT test before the third anniversary of its registration. It then needs to be tested again within a year of its last MOT for the rest of its lifespan.
What happens if I don’t get an MOT?You will be prosecuted and can be fined up to £1,000 for driving a car without a valid MOT, so it’s crucial that you have your vehicle tested when it’s due.
Where do I get an MOT done?An MOT test can only be performed at an approved test centre. Currently, over 20,000 garages are accredited MOT test centres in the UK. By law, they are required to display a blue sign with three white triangles — only book an MOT at a centre that displays this sign.
How much does an MOT cost?An MOT test costs a flat fee of £54.85 for cars. You don’t pay VAT on this amount. If your car fails its MOT, you will also have to pay for the necessary repairs. This cost will depend on how much work is needed to get your vehicle road worthy again.
How do I book an MOT?To book an MOT, simply contact a local MOT test centre directly. Make sure you book the test well in advance to make sure you don’t overrun your current MOT certificate, or you’ll end up with a car you can’t drive.
What if I fail my MOT?Your car will either pass or fail its MOT test. If it passes, it will be recorded in the MOT database and you’ll receive a certificate from the garage. You don’t need to do anything until you need to book in your next test in a year’s time. If your car fails its MOT, don’t worry — this doesn’t mean it needs to be written off. In fact, a lot of MOT failures are down to faults that are simple and inexpensive to fix, such as a dead bulb or a faulty set of windscreen wipers. You can avoid the most common causes of MOT failure by simply following the tips in Autosessive’s guide to avoiding an MOT test failure throughout the year.
If your car fails its MOT, you’ll get a list of things that need to be fixed from the test centre. You can either pay them to make the repairs or have them done elsewhere. Your car will then need to be retested, which will cost you another £54.85.
So, there you have it: everything you need to know before your first ever MOT test. You now know exactly what to do when your car’s current certificate nears expiry.
You will also need to pay for :-
Vehicle Excise Duty (Road Tax)
MOT if your vehicle is more than 3 years old