What happens when I take my car in for an MOT test?

For those that have not done it before, getting an MOT test can be a stressful and confusing process. This is your complete guide, from the experts at Pantech Auto Technicians in Guildford, to understanding MOT tests: what they are, when they are needed, and how you can prepare.

What is an MOT test?

An MOT (Ministry of Transport) test is a point-by-point assessment that identifies whether or not your car or vehicle is safe enough to drive on public roads. Every testing garage will use the same components and structural parts of your car regardless of the make and model. This can include the brakes, fuel system, lights, mirrors, seatbelts, windscreen wipers, and exhaust system.

When do you need to get an MOT?

When your car reaches three years old, it must be tested each year to check it meets road safety and environmental standards. It must then be retested every year on or before the anniversary of its last MOT test. You can get your car retested up to a month before the expiry date.

If you have lost your MOT certificate, you can simply use the government tool to enter your registration number and vehicle make. You will then have access to your MOT and tax status, with the option to send a fresh certificate to you for free.

There is no grace period when it comes to an MOT – once it has expired it becomes illegal to drive your car on the road and you risk prosecution. The only exception for this is if you are driving your vehicle directly to be tested.

How much does an MOT cost?

The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency sets the maximum fee official test centres/garages can charge for an MOT, which is £54.85 for cars and £29.65 for motorbikes.

Preparing for your MOT test

Many vehicles can fail an MOT test for small issues that could have been easily prevented. The best approach to prepare for your MOT test is to reference a checklist several weeks before the inspection date to ensure the best possible condition.

  • Make sure both the inside and outside of your car is clean, particularly the number plates as these must be readable.
  • Check the windscreen wipers are working and have no tears.
  • Check every light is working as they should. You may want to ask a family member or friend to help make this easier.
  • Use the 20p test to check your tyre tread, and confirm the pressure is acceptable too.
  • Top up all the fluid levels: brake fluid, oil, and screen wash.
  • Beep the horn to check it’s working still.

What happens when you get an MOT?

An average MOT test takes between 45 and 60 minutes, but could be much longer if your vehicle fails and repairs are needed. A testing garage/centre is not allowed to let you drive away a car that has failed an MOT until the problems are fixed, unless you are taking the car to have the faults repaired. Once passed, you will get an MOT test certificate with the date of the test and expiry.

Pantech Auto Technician in Guildford provide a quick and reliable MOT testing service for all class 1, 2 & 4 MOTs, which includes almost all modern cars, as well as many varieties of vans. As fully approved Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) mechanics, you can have complete peace of mind when you bring your vehicle in. We also offer a 14-day free retest if your vehicle does not pass.

If you would like to book your car or motorcycle in for an MOT, repairs or servicing, please do not hesitate to contact us at Pantech Auto Technicians today.