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MOT Test - Common Questions

What is an MOT?

Any vehicle driven on the public roads in the UK must be kept in a roadworthy condition by law. MOT tests make sure your vehicle meets the road safety and environmental requirements.

The MOT test doesn’t check the mechanical condition of the vehicle, and is not a replacement for the regular service schedule recommended by the manufacturer. You should get your vehicle serviced in accordance with manufacturer’s recommendations in addition to the annual MOT test.

You can prepare for your MOT test by doing some simple checks yourself. Read the separate handbook article “How to prepare for your MOT test” for more information.

When do I need to get an MOT?

Your car’s first MOT is due on the third anniversary of its registration. You can find the registration date on your V5 registration certificate. Some vehicles, such as ambulances and taxis, need an MOT test on the first anniversary of registration.

MOT test certificates are valid for one year. After your car’s first MOT it needs to pass another test every year. You can get your MOT test done up to one month in advance of the due date. It is an offence to drive a car on the road without a valid MOT test certificate.

Normally you will not be get a reminder when your MOT test is due, it is your responsibility to make sure your car gets tested on time. Download the GloveBox app now and get free email reminders to book your MOT.

Where can I get an MOT?

You can only use an approved MOT test centre. Approved test centres will display a blue sign with three triangles.

Use the GloveBox MOT Finder to find your nearest registered MOT test centre.

What should I do if my MOT has expired?

If your MOT certificate has expired and you haven’t arranged a retest, you can’t drive the vehicle on the road. It’s an offence and you could be prosecuted.

You are only allowed to drive the vehicle to a pre-arranged MOT test. Ensure you book an appointment in advance at an approved test centre, you can only legally drive the car to that appointment until you have a valid MOT test certificate.

What happens after my MOT test?

If your car has passed its MOT test you’ll be given a certificate. The certificate includes the details of your car, the test centre and the date your next test is due. The certificate may also list some “advisory items”, which will not cause your vehicle to fail the test but may need attention sometime in the future.

A test certificate is valid for 12 months, but this doesn’t mean that the car is guaranteed to be roadworthy, safe or functional for a year. You are responsible for keeping the car roadworthy during that time, along with regular maintenance and safety checks. For example, if your car tyres become excessively worn or bulbs need replacing you may still be issued with fixed penalties or subject to prosecution even with a valid MOT certificate.

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Visit the GloveBox Driver's Handbook for tips and advice on motoring.