Any driver with a vehicle over the age of three should have their car’s MOT test on their calendar each year. For many drivers, it is a time to dread as we wonder just how much we will have to shell out in repair work.
What is an MOT test?
MOT stands for Ministry of Transport test and it is an annual examination of your car which occurs after your car hits the age of three. The engineers will look at your vehicle to test its safety as well as the level of emissions that your car emits. The MOT tester and test centre is licensed by VOSA which stands for Vehicle and Operator Services Agency.
During the test, your MOT tester will check out your vehicle in relation to the current acceptable standards outlined by VOSA. The overall verdict is based on the condition of your car on that particular day, however the tester may note some advisories which are factors which could cause problems in the future if you don’t get them fixed. It is not essential to have advisories repaired but it is worth knowing that if you don’t, your car may be failing their MOT test on these factors next time around and the problem could have gotten worse by then.
Why is an MOT test so important?
Besides assuring that your car is safe for you to drive, the MOT test is considered to be your responsibility. If you don’t have an MOT certificate, you cannot get insurance and you can’t renew your road tax. Driving without either of these is illegal. It is also illegal to drive a car which hasn’t got a current MOT certificate.
How do I arrange an MOT?
A wide range of garages offer MOT tests, you will probably have noticed the MOT logo on the side of garages in your local area. National companies such as Kwik Fit offer MOT tests, as well as local independent garages. If you’re unsure of who to go for, ask a friend or family member for a recommendation.
You can book your car’s MOT test up to 28 days before your current certificate expires. Be sure to get yourself booked in plenty of time to avoid a last minute panic. Try to book your test as close to the expiry date as possible so you get the full twelve months on your previous MOT test. If you go too early in the month, this means that the previous year, you only paid for 11 months.
When you take your car for its MOT, be aware that you will need to pay the test fee that day. You will also be asked to produce your Vehicle Registration Document, also known as the V5.
What happens if my car fails its MOT?
If your car fails its MOT, this means that you cannot legally take your car on the road. You have two options: either get the repair work done and pay for a retest or take your car off the road. You don’t have to get repair work done in that garage, you can take it elsewhere and bring it back for a retest.