For drivers in the UK getting their car’s annual MOT test is a major responsibility. While there are plenty of regulations related to getting an MOT check done, it will suffice for a vehicle owner to be aware of the basics of getting an MOT.
What does the term MOT mean?
The term Mot is an acronym for the Ministry of Transport which is the UK government department that introduced the concept of road tests for vehicles called MOT in the sixties. During that period many vehicles were plying UK roads that were not roadworthy. Initially, the MOT was reserved for vehicles that were more than 10 years old. However, this was later reduced and now the limit is 3 years after which all vehicles must undergo an annual inspection. The objective of an MOT is to ensure that vehicles are roadworthy. For this, there is an exhaustive checklist ranging from lights to emissions and this is completed in about an hour.
If your clutch is hard to press, this could be an early sign of clutch failure. Although the condition of the clutch isn’t checked during an MOT, it’s still recommended to get it fixed as soon as possible.
Getting an MOT
Every garage or mechanic is not authorised to conduct an MOT. There are around 21,000 authorised garages all over the UK that do offer MOT tests. These include national chains as well as independent garages. Choosing the garage to visit is the prerogative of the vehicle owner and there is no compulsion to visit the same MOT centre every year.
Price of an MOT
The cost of the MOT is decided by the government. The maximum amount is £54.85 which fluctuates with the rate of inflation annually. However, this is the maximum sum, with garages offering lower prices to attract a larger number of customers. If you get your car serviced or have additional work carried out at the time of the MOT, the garage may be likely to offer a special lower price on the MOT test.
When to get the MOT
Any vehicle that has completed 3 years from the date of registration with the DVLA is due its MOT. The most convenient way to know your vehicle’s MOT due date is to visit the DVLA site. All it needs is to enter the vehicle registration number to check for the next MOT due date and confirm if no road taxes are due. While there is a bit of flexibility in booking the MOT it is recommended not to wait until the end. Use the time to look around for the best prices and preferably get the test done within 2-4 days of the expiry.
There will be just one of two outcomes of getting an MOT test done. Either it will pass or fail. In the case of the former, the car is declared safe to drive on the roads as it meets all the MOT guidelines. The result will be updated on the DVLA site, and all that is needed is to pay the MOT test charge and take the vehicle home.
If it fails, there is a need for work to be done on the car before it becomes roadworthy. If classified as dangerous, the car cannot be driven and will either need to be repaired at the MOT centre itself or towed away to another garage for repairs. If the failure is listed as major, it can be repaired at the MOT garage or driven elsewhere for repairs. After the repairs are carried out it can return to the MOT centre for a retest.