Getting an MOT

Getting an MOT

When to get an MOT

The MOT test checks that your vehicle meets road safety and environmental standards.

You must get an MOT for your vehicle by either:

the third anniversary of its registration
the anniversary of its last MOT, if it’s over 3 years old

Car garages were allowed to reopen in England on June 1 after being closed in line with Government lockdown rules on March 23.

Many remained open throughout the lockdown for essential services on vehicles belonging to key workers and NHS staff.

Every car in the UK is required to have an MOT each year if it is more than three years old.

The MoT has undergone some of the most significant changes of its near 60-year history, with the arrival of new defect categories for all cars and stricter standards for diesels with particulate filters.

The new rules, which came into force from May 20, mean that instead of vehicles being given a ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ rating at their MOT, any defects will now be categorised as ‘dangerous’, ‘major’ or ‘minor’ with the first two of these resulting in a test failure.

A ‘dangerous’ rating means a direct and immediate risk to road safety or one that has a serious impact on the environment. The regulatory body, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), warns that the vehicle should not be driven in this condition until it is repaired.

‘Major ‘is described as a defect that may affect the vehicle’s safety, put other road users at risk or have an impact on the environment. The DVSA advises that, in this case, the defect should be repaired immediately.

The next new category is ‘minor’ and this is classified as having no significant effect on the safety of the vehicle or impact on the environment. The DVSA advises that it should be repaired as soon as possible, although a car with a ‘minor’ defect will pass the test.

MoT testers will also be tasked with inspecting items they previously did not have to. The new items being checked include the following:

• Obviously underinflated tyres
• Contaminated brake fluid
• Fluid leaks posing an environmental risk
• Brake pad warning lights and missing brake pads or discs
• Reversing lights on vehicles first used from 1 September 2009
• Headlight washers (if present) on vehicles first used from 1 September 2009
• Daytime running lights on vehicles first used from 1 March 2018 – though this won’t be relevant until 2021