The Good Garage Scheme: Advice on MOTs Advice on MOTs

Advice on MOTs

The MOT test was originally called the "Ministry Of Transport test", it is now simply called an MOT.

All MOT Testing Stations are regulated by the newly named Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), which replaces both the Driving Standards Agency and VOSA. According to the government-run DVSA, you must keep any vehicles driven on the road in a roadworthy condition and records are updated on a database.

The MOT test checks that your vehicle meets road safety and environmental standards.  An MOT is required when a car is three years old (four years in Northern Ireland) and then annually after that.

As we all know the MOT test fee itself is not the most worrying cost but rather the repairs required  in order for your vehicle to pass the test.

A vehicle that does not have a valid MOT test certificate has its registration details automatically passed on to the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) of police vehicles. Certain static road-side cameras use ANPR too. An invalid MOT may also be an excuse for an insurance company to not honour a claim.


Here are some simple tips from the Good Garage Scheme to help keep the costs down:


Service your car regularly

An MOT test is NOT the same as having your vehicle serviced and does NOT check its general mechanical condition.The best way to avoid costly repair bills at MOT test time is to keep your vehicle in tip-top condition with regular checks and servicing.


Look for garages that offer discounts on servicing when MOTs are booked at the same time.

Check the lights

One in five vehicles fail MOTs due to an inoperative light bulb. Walk around to check your car's indicators and headlights, front and back. Ask for help from a friend or neighbour with checking your reversing light.

Be an early bird

Have an MOT test in the month before the current certificate ends. The new certificate will expire exactly a year from the existing one's end date (the earliest date you can do this is printed on your test certificate) so that you benefit. If you have the MOT test more than a month before the MOT's due date,  it will expire exactly a year later, meaning you lose out.


For additional information on MOTs, please see here for details from the GOV.UK website.

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