It’s to keep your car on track and a safe. It also makes sure all cars on the road are regularly checked and looked after in order to work safely in day to day driving. This is done by running various checks and tests on a vehicle once a year. These checks and tests are mandatory and a legal MOT cannot be issued if not all checks and tests have been offered, or come back without issue. If your car fails due to a component, these issues will have to be fixed immanently if wanting to issue a MOT or drive the car legally. Be aware, MOT’s are only necessary for vehicles over the age of 3!
If you car is being used with out a valid MOT, you can be fined £2,500, be banned from driving and get three points on your licence. Driving without a current MOT also makes your car insurance invalid.
What’s checked in a MOT?
You may be surprised to know that some of the things you think may be included in a MOT is not. Here’s the general list of all things covered, looked at, tested and checked when it comes to your M.O.T.
Vehicle Identification Number
Lights – checks the condition, operation, security and colour
Steering and suspension – check the components for correct condition and that the operation is correct
Wipers and washer bottle
Windscreen – Will check your vehicle’s windscreen for any chips or cracks. The maximum damage size is 10mm in the drivers’ line of vision or 40mm elsewhere in the remaining area swept by the wiper blades.
Fuel system – checked during the MOT test for leaks and that the fuel cap fastens and seals securely.
Bodywork – Vehicle structure and body shell are checked during the MOT test for excessive corrosion or damage in specific areas of the vehicle.
Doors – Will check that the doors open and close correctly and that the latch is secure in a closed position.
Wheels and tyres – key points: the condition, security, tyre size and type and tread depth.
Brakes – The MOT tests the efficiency of the vehicle’s braking performance, condition and operation. Most vehicles are tested on a roller brake tester.
MOT’s do not cover the the condition of the engine, clutch and gearbox!
Where do I get one and how much are they?
Most if not all garages offer MOTs. They can range in price, and there is always a deal to be had, but on average, cost around £45. The maximum charge currently for a MOT is £54.85. Beware, anything that is flagged on a MOT will incur further charges. If you put your car in early for it’s MOT, you do then have the opportunity to take your vehicle to another garage to have the necessary work carried out. This is always a good idea, as you then have the time and option to hunt for the best deal!
Can I do my own?
No! If you are a qualified mechanic you can undergo a MOT on your own vehicle, however you have to take your vehicle to a certified garage and have it checked and authorised to validate another years MOT. This will still incur a test charge which again can differ depending on the garage.
It’s always advisable to book your car in for it’s MOT a little earlier than it’s due. As previously mentioned, this than gives you the option to hunt around for a good price, when required to have specific work carried out on the vehicle. It also lowers the risk of driving illegally without a valid MOT, especially if you leave it last minute and can’t get an appointment in time!
What if it fails?
There is a chance your car can fail it’s MOT for various reasons. There are several faults, ranging from minor to major.
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 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.