What Does MOT Stand For?

Talk to every car owner you know in the UK, and we can bet MOT will come up at least once or twice in the conversation. Your MOT is a mandatory requirement for owning and driving a car on UK roads, and you are solely responsible for renewing your existing MOT certificate once every year. You are committing a crime if you don’t do an MOT test. If caught driving without an MOT test certificate, the DVSA will fine you a maximum of £1,000. 

What is the MOT?

MOT test is an abbreviation for the Ministry of Transport test. The UK government first introduced the Ministry of Transport in 1960 as a department in charge of the cars used in the UK and general vehicle safety on the roads. The Ministry of Transport is now defunct and currently known as the Department for Transport. The department is responsible for the entire English transport network, which extends to aviation and the railroad. It also handles transport security and civil issues. An MOT test is a transport test, if you will, to determine if a car is safe to be on the road. Before the department changed the policy to three years, cars had to undergo an MOT test once they were ten. Other changes also include the list of checks your vehicle will go through to get your certification.

What is the purpose of MOT? 

MOT is in place to check the roadworthiness and safety of every car registered and used in the UK. The system inspects all vehicles, including motorcycles, motor caravans, and lorries, and flags down cars that pose safety threats on the road. 

A typical MOT test works by multiple assessments of various parts of your car. It includes inspecting your vehicle’s registration number and your registration plate. Your vehicle passes an MOT only after meeting the Driving and vehicle standards (DVSA) minimum standards.

MOT Certificate

The department cannot do the work alone, so it has given licenses to over 20,000 garages and employed over 53,000 testers to carry out MOT tests on vehicles. If interested in becoming an MOT test centre, you can apply for the government-issued VT01 form and the MOT license. Once you successfully pass the MOT test, you receive an MOT certificate as proof. The certificate is a VT20 MOT Test Pass certificate. However, if you fail the MOT test, you will receive the VT30 MOT Test Failure certificate.

What a Typical MOT Test Entails

An MOT test will last at least 45 minutes and includes;

What is an MOT test number, and what does it mean?

Your MOT test number is the last 12-digit serial number on your test certificate, and it is needed when requesting a replacement of your MOT test certificate. 

A man in overalls writes to a clipboard. Mechanic. Car inspection
Mechanic. Car inspection

Can you appeal if your vehicle fails an MOT test?

Yes, you can appeal for a retest if you feel your vehicle should have passed your MOT test. Fill in the complaint form and send it to the DVSA within 14 working days of the test. Within five days, the department will contact you concerning your MOT failure appeal, and if they decide to retest your vehicle, you will have to repay the full test fee, but the amount is refundable once your request is successful.

Replacement MOT Test Certificate

The law mandates you have a current, valid MOT certificate, so if you lose or damage your certificate, replace it immediately. Get a replacement MOT test certificate at any licensed MOT centre and not necessarily where you got the original certificate.

You need to get a new certificate, vehicle registration details, and a V5C logbook reference number. However, you may have to pay £10 or at least half the MOT test fee. 

MOT Exemptions

Most vehicles must undergo an MOT test, with the only exception being brand new cars or cars registered at least 30 years ago. If your car falls in either category, you need to fill out an MOT exemption form (Form V112).

Close up of a mechanic hands repaires lifted car
Car Mot

How to check your MOT online?

It is easy to check your MOT status online on several websites. Click here for check online, and you can equally check on your MOT deadlines and be up to date on service schedules. In addition, you can check your MOT details with your registration number or the car’s number plate.

Does MOT affect car tax and insurance?

Yes, MOT affects car taxes and insurance. Without a valid certificate, you can’t buy a car insurance policy, and it is also a requirement for car taxes.

How much does an MOT cost?

At the Driver and Vehicle Standards Authority, an MOT test costs up to £54.85. But it could be cheaper to get your MOT test at another garage. If your car has a lot of faults, it is best to make sure it is in good condition before going for an MOT test. 

In 2018, the department created new MOT rules, and they state that if you fail an MOT test due to your unfit car, you cannot drive till you fix it. So you end up spending more on repairs than your MOT test. However, if you choose to take away your vehicle elsewhere for repairs, then back to the test garage before the end of the next working day for a retest, it will be free of charge. 

However, if you cannot return the car to the test centre after ten working days, you will have to cover the retest fee if your vehicle is retested.

How to find a local MOT centre or garage

You can find an MOT garage near you by searching online. Or you can ask your loved ones or look on social media for local MOT centres that offer the best services.

Can you sell your car without an MOT?

Yes, it is possible to sell your car even if it has not undergone an MOT test. But the downside is the new owner cannot legally drive the vehicle until they take it for MOT test and certification. Another thing to note is that although you can sell your vehicle without an MOT test certificate, you significantly lower your selling potential because many buyers already prefer MOT tested cars. 

MOT Tests

Here are the possible outcomes of an MOT test. They are;

Pass; If you pass an MOT test, it means the department considers your car safe to use on the roads until your subsequent MOT evaluation. 

Advisory; If your car falls under the advisory category, it means it is roadworthy, but there is a slight fault you need to address.

Minor fault; A minor flaw means that your car has faults that need immediate attention; otherwise, they develop into significant defects in the future. For example, worn-out brake pads.

 Major fault; A significant fault means your car is in terrible condition, and it is not safe on the roads unless you repair the defects.

Dangerous fault; If the test centre finds your car in the dangerous defects zone, you will automatically fail your MOT test. Your vehicle may be too far gone for repairs, and you may have to get another car.

What to do if an MOT tester is a fraud?

Unfortunately, many fraudsters are posing as MOT test centres in the UK. Should you encounter any of them, here is what to do.

Please report them to the vehicle standards agency with a detailed description of their activities. Your information should contain;

If you have safety concerns when reporting, you can ask for anonymity. However, the DVSA cannot protect your identity if you need to appear as a witness in court or for additional information. 

The DVSA investigates all criminal reports and works with law enforcement to punish offenders. The punishments may include;

Unfortunately, the DVSA cannot update you on an ongoing criminal investigation, but they will update you as soon as it is over. 

Things you can do so your car passes an MOT test.

MOT, or the Ministry of Transport, is an annual safety check for vehicles in the United Kingdom. It was first introduced in 1960 and became a requirement for all cars in 1971. The MOT test checks various aspects of your car to ensure it is safe to drive on the road. If you fail your MOT, you will need to repair the defects before taking the vehicle for another test. You can find a local MOT garage by searching online or asking your loved ones. Hope you enjoyed this article