It doesn’t cover the condition of the engine, clutch and gearbox. To find your nearest authorised MOT test centre, visit these websites:
- England, Wales and Scotland – UK MOT
- Northern Ireland – NIDirect and book a test online
An average MOT test takes between 45 and 60 minutes, but there are a couple of other things to take into consideration. First, if your vehicle fails the test and repairs are needed this will take longer. A test centre isn’t allowed to let you drive away a car that has failed an MOT until the problems are fixed, unless your existing MOT certificate is still valid, or you’re taking the car to have the faults fixed.
- Second, the test might take an hour or less, but, even if there aren’t any repairs, this doesn’t mean your vehicle will only have to be at the garage for 60 minutes.
- Test centres can require you to drop your vehicle off first thing in the morning and collect it when ready.
- This means you should be prepared to be without your vehicle for the day.
The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency sets the maximum fee official test centres can charge for an MOT. It’s currently £54.85 for cars and motor caravans and £29.65 for motorbikes, but many garages charge less than this – sometimes up to 50% less. Search online for “cheap MOT” or “MOT discount” to find out how you can save money on your car’s next MOT.
An MOT might also be included in the cost of a full service for your car. While servicing your car regularly is a good idea, a service, even if it includes an MOT, is likely to be more expensive than an MOT on it’s own. Nearly two in five MOT tests fail first time. Yet often this is because of minor faults the owner could easily have fixed themselves before they paid for a test.
Here are some of the ways your car could fail an MOT.
- Screen wash not topped up. This basic task takes minutes, so don’t be caught out by it.
- The car was dirty or full of clutter. Clear the mess from the boot and cabin and give the windows and mirrors a quick wipe.
- A registration plate problem. For example, the plate used the incorrect type face/spacing, or was dirty or missing altogether. If you have a personalised plate, make sure it follows DVLA rules.
- Stickers on the windscreen blocking the driver’s view. Make sure anything stuck to the windscreen like parking permits is outside the wipers’ sweep area.
- Lit-up warning light on the dashboard. The MOT has included lit-up warning lights since 2012. So make sure you know what lit-up car warning lights mean and, if you have, any sort out the underlying problem before the MOT.
This can easily be done with a 20p coin – see the diagram at Tyre Safe Check for any damage such as splits in the tread, bulges or cuts in the sidewalls. Also check the tyre pressure is correct – the car’s manual will list the right pressure and they might also be on the sidewall of the tyre itself – and increase it at a petrol station if necessary.
- The handbrake: check the tension in your handbrake.
- If it slides up and down without resistance and can’t be ratcheted to a set level, there’s likely to be a problem needing fixing by a professional mechanic.
- Seats and seatbelts: check the driver’s seat adjusts forwards and backwards and inspect the full length of the seatbelt for any damage.
Check all the seatbelts latch and fasten securely, and lock when you give them a sharp tug. Windscreen: any damage wider than 10mm in the driver’s central view will cause an MOT fail, as will any damage larger than 40mm in the whole of the swept area.
Windscreen wipers: make sure your wipers clean your windscreen effectively along with the washers. Remember, any tears or holes in the wiper rubber can mean an MOT fail. Suspension check: check the shock absorbers by applying your weight to each corner of the car then quickly releasing it. The corner of the car should quickly return to its original position.
If it bounces more than twice, this could mean the shock absorbers are faulty and need to be checked. Horn: give a short blast of the horn – if it doesn’t work or isn’t loud enough to attract the attention of pedestrians or other motorists, get it repaired.
Exhaust: check for exhaust leaks by starting the engine in a well-ventilated space at normal temperature, then listen from the rear of the car for any unusual noises or abnormal smoke. Fuel and engine oil: make sure your car is filled with enough fuel and engine oil – you can be turned away from the MOT if there isn’t enough to test your car’s emissions levels properly.
If your car fails its MOT, the test centre will give you a VT3O Certificate showing the reasons for the fail. On 20 May 2018, the MOT categories for fails and passes changed. If your car has a dangerous fault, you won’t be able to drive it away. Get a quote from the garage you got the MOT from if they do repairs, and then call around for some quotes from other local garages.
You might be able to find the repairs cheaper even if they need to tow your vehicle to their garage. If your car has a major fault you may be able to drive it away if it’s still roadworthy Opens in a new window and your previous MOT has not expired yet. If your MOT has run out and the car is roadworthy you can drive it to have the faults fixed and to a pre-booked MOT.
If you drive a car without an MOT under any other circumstances, or drive a car with dangerous faults, you can be fined £2,500, be banned from driving and get three points on your licence. You need to fix all major and dangerous faults to make your car roadworthy and then arrange a partial MOT retest in which your car must pass before you can drive it on the roads again.
- If you leave your car with the test centre for repair, you’ll be able to get a partial retest for free, as long as this is done within 10 working days of failing the MOT.
- If you take your vehicle away for repairs, and return it before the end of the next working day, the test is normally free.
- Whether it’s free or not depends on which parts are retested If you return within 10 working days to the same test centre for a partial retest, you’ll get charged a lower fee, but it won’t be free.
If your MOT has expired, it’s illegal to drive your car on the road and you could be prosecuted for doing so. Driving without a current MOT also invalidates your car insurance. So you might not be covered if you were to have an accident. The only exception would be if you already had an MOT booked and were driving your car to the test.
There are two ways to get a replacement MOT test certificate. The first is free. Just go to GOV.UK where you can view, print and save any MOT certificate issued after 20 May 2018. All you need is the vehicle’s registration number and the 11-digit reference number, with no spaces, from the vehicle’s V5C, also known as a logbook.
The second way costs £10. You can go to any MOT test centre and give them your vehicle’s registration number and the V5C reference number. You don’t need a MOT certificate to sell a vehicle, but many buyers will want to see it. You also need an MOT certificate to tax your vehicle and to change the vehicle’s tax class, such as getting free tax for a disabled driver.
- 1 What gets checked in a MOT?
- 2 Can I drive my car if my MOT has run out but its booked in?
- 2.1 Can MOT fail on brake pads?
- 2.2 Do they check oil level in MOT?
- 2.3 Do they check wipers on MOT?
- 2.4 Can a garage keep my car if I refuse to pay UK?
- 2.5 Do you have to repair minor defects on MOT?
How long can you drive after a failed MOT?
Can you drive with a failed MOT? – If your car has failed an MOT, it means there are things which need to be fixed and therefore you cannot drive. However, you will get ten days in which you can drive to have repairs done and get a retest to ensure your vehicle is safe.
How long does it take for MOT to go online?
How long will it take for the DVLA to update my MOT data? – It may take up to 5 days for the DVLA to update your MOT data. If it has been more than 5 days since you took an MOT test and your information has not been updated accordingly, you should contact the DVLA for further assistance.
What gets checked in a MOT?
An MOT involves dozens of checks on your car, ranging from the brakes and fuel system to lights, mirrors, seatbelts, windscreen wipers and exhaust system. It doesn’t cover the condition of the engine, clutch and gearbox.
Can I drive my car if my MOT has run out but its booked in?
Driving without an MOT certificate is dangerous, illegal and unsafe. You should never drive your car without an MOT as you can invalidate your insurance and risk the lives of yourself, your passengers and others on the road. Here’s why you should never drive without a valid MOT and the consequences.
A new MOT certificate is valid for a year. But the earliest you can get a new MOT is up to a month – minus a day – before its expiry date. So, if your MOT is due to expire on 20 March, you can book it in for a test from 21st February, but you’ll keep the same renewal date. If your MOT has expired, you can only drive it directly to a garage for an MOT retest or a repair. If you’re stopped on the way by police, you must be able to prove that you have an appointment booked at a garage. If your car has failed its MOT, you can only continue to drive it if the previous year’s MOT is still valid. This could happen if you take your car in for a test a few weeks early, for example. You can still drive it away from the testing centre or garage if no dangerous problems were identified during the MOT. If there are serious issues with your MOT, you’ll need to have all repairs completed before you can drive the car away. You shouldn’t need to pay for a retest if the work has been completed by the same garage and the test is done within 10 working days of the original test. If you’re caught driving without a valid MOT you could face a fine of up to £1,000 and your vehicle may be impounded.
You can learn more about the MOT rules here. *Based on Halfords Autocentres YouGov survey carried out in October 2017 from a sample size of over 2,000 adults. With the rising cost of living, we’re all looking to save extra money where we can. At Halfords, up To £44 Off Your MOT and service When You Join Halfords Motoring Club For Free.
Can you still drive while waiting for MOT?
If the MOT has run out –
- If your tax is due to run out, register your vehicle as ‘off the road’ – you cannot renew your vehicle tax if your MOT has expired.
- Book an MOT test.
- Tax your vehicle once it has passed its MOT.
You cannot drive or park your vehicle on the road if the MOT has run out. You can be prosecuted if caught. The only exceptions are to drive it:
- to or from somewhere to be repaired
- to a pre-arranged MOT test
What happens if my MOT is a few days late?
Do You Get MOT Reminders? – We know how hectic work and life schedules are and it’s easy to forget your MOT due date. However, as we indicated earlier, a late MOT can result in hefty fines, points on your licence and invalidate your insurance. MOT centres don’t have to remind you of your next MOT date as that is your responsibility.
Do you get a free MOT if it fails?
To qualify for a free MOT retest, the following rules applies: – You need to leave your car to get repaired at the same test centre, and the testing takes has to take place within ten working days. In this case, the retesting will automatically be free. Here is a list of the most common repairs that can usually be done within ten days qualifying you for free MOT retesting:
Bonnet Boot lid Brake pedal/ Anti-slip device Direction indicators Doors Drop-sides Fuel Filler Cap Hazard Warning Horn Lamps Loading door Mirrors Rear reflectors Registration plates Seat belts (but not anchorages) Seats Sharp edges or projections Steering wheel Tailboard Tailgate Tyres Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) Windscreen and glass Windscreen washer and wipers Wheels
Obviously for certain repairs, like those that fall outside of the above list, you may need the services of a specialist mechanic. In cases like this, you are allowed to take the car away temporarily for repairs. Service your car from £79
Can you fail an MOT if your car is dirty?
2.) Messy Cars – Similarly, having an excessive mess of any sort can also cause MOT failure. While it sounds silly, having a dirty car inside or outside is grounds enough to fail a vehicle. If your car is really dirty, technicians can refuse to even conduct the MOT at all! Takeaway packets, bottles, and other miscellaneous paraphernalia in the footwells or on the seats could easily roll under the pedals and cause an accident by preventing rapid braking.
How long do you get without an MOT?
Is there ever a time I can drive without an MOT? – The simple answer is, no, it’s illegal to drive without an MOT. If your vehicle is more than three years old, you can’t drive without an MOT unless you are driving to a pre-booked test at an authorised test centre.
Can MOT fail on brake pads?
Section 3: Brakes – Brakes are usually checked for their efficiency and balance on road with a roller brake tester. During an MOT test, a vehicle’s brake pads and discs are checked. If the brake pads are below 3mm, you will be advised to change them, however the legal limit is 1.5mm and if your brake pads are below this you will fail your MOT test.3.1 Parking Brake Control 3.2 Hand Operated Brake Control Valves 3.3 Service Brake Control a.
- All types of braking systems b.
- Hydraulic systems (including servo assisted) c.
- Vehicles with High Servo Boost d.
- Full power hydraulic braking systems e.
- Air and vacuum systems 3.4 Anti-lock Braking and Electronic Stability Control Systems 3.5 Mechanical Brake Components 3.6 Braking systems and Additional Braking Devices a.
All braking systems b. Brake pipes and flexible hoses c. Servos and master cylinders d. Reservoirs (air/vacuum), including accumulators, pressure and vacuum vessels e. Valves f. Pumps and compressors g. Hydraulic systems h. Air systems i. Additional braking devices j.
Do they check oil level in MOT?
If the car is low on oil or coolant it can pass an MOT. The tester may issue an advisory if he spots it, but their levels are not part of the test. If the car has an engine fault that does not affect the emissions or the ability to drive safely, it can also pass an MOT.
Do they check wipers on MOT?
Can A Car Fail The MOT Test On Wiper Blades? – As mentioned, the MOT test involves a thorough look at a vehicle to ensure it’s safe to be driven on the roads. In addition to the more obvious parts of the car, such as brakes and tyres, the testers will also inspect the front wiper blades (the rear wiper is not included in the MOT). On inspection, your car may fail its MOT if:
There’s not enough screenwash to clear the windscreen using the wipers.The windscreen wipers are missing, insecure, or in poor condition. The windscreen is chipped or cracked (includes chips larger than 1 cm in the driver’s field of vision and 4 cm elsewhere).
Do you pay for a failed MOT?
Taking it back for a retest within 10 working days – You’ll only need a partial retest if you take the vehicle from the test centre for repairs and take it back within 10 working days. You can be charged a partial retest fee for this. In all other cases, you’ll need to get a full retest and pay the full MOT test fee again.
Can a garage keep my car if I refuse to pay UK?
What to do if the garage has not fixed the fault – If you have trusted a garage to find and fix a fault, but it is still present, you may have grounds for complaint, unless the garage can prove that the new fault is a separate issue, or outside of the scope of work authorised.
If a new fault has developed, speak to the garage immediately, and if possible book it in with the expressed notification that you require them to inspect their previous work, and you are not to be billed for any more diagnostic time. Bear in mind that due to the complexity of many systems, it’s possible that the new fault was not directly caused by the garage, and is the result of deferred repairs.
Can a mechanic keep my car if I refuse to pay? In a word, yes. In the UK until a bill has been paid the garage can keep the car as a “Lien”, which is the right to keep the property until a debt is paid. It’s a necessary tool for garages to have, as once the work is completed, they have no power to ensure payment by the customer.
The waters are muddied slightly if the work carried out is in dispute over any of the issues we’ve already discussed, including quality, price or time, where you may want and need your car back as soon as possible, but don’t want to accept the work completed by paying the bill. One way to get your car back, but not forgo the right to contest the level of service provided, is to pay the bill as ‘under protest’.
This way the payment of the bill is not a marker of you agreeing with the transaction, if the complaint was to be elevated.
Do you have to repair minor defects on MOT?
1. New defect categories – You can read about the new defect categories, including the category descriptions and how it affects the test result. If a vehicle only has minor defects, it doesn’t fail the MOT test. It doesn’t matter how many minor defects it has.