Everyone who uses a vehicle on the road is required to keep it in a roadworthy condition.
The purpose of the MOT Test is to ensure that cars, other light vehicles (including some Light Goods Vehicles), private buses and motorcycles over a prescribed age are checked at least once a year to see that they comply with key roadworthiness and environmental requirements.
When your car is tested, the MOT looks at some important items to see if it meets the legal requirements. The MOT certificate is not a guarantee of the general mechanical condition of a vehicle however.
How early can my car be submitted for test?
An MOT can be carried out at any time.
If the vehicle is presented for test within the calendar month prior to the date that the MOT is due, the test certificate will run from the date of the test to one year after the expiry date of the current certificate (e.g. if the current certificate was due to expire on 1/4/14, and the vehicle was presented on or after 2/3/14, the certificate would run from the test date until 1/4/15). As MOTs are now electronic, this will happen automatically and you no longer have to present the tester with the old MOT certificate.
The same rule would also apply if the vehicle was taken in within a calendar month of its first MOT. In this case, the vehicle owner would need to present their registration document and the serial number from this document will be entered in the “last certificate serial number” box on the MOT.
If the vehicle is tested earlier than one month before its due date, it will only run for twelve months.
When should my vehicle take an MOT Test?
Vehicles should receive their first MOT when they reach 3 years of age.
If a car is registered with no prior use on the road, the MOT will be required three years after the date of registration. For example, a car registered “from new” on 25th April 2011 will require its MOT no later than 25th April 2014. If a car is used prior to registration, as would be the case with an import, the MOT will be required three years from the end of the year of manufacture.
For example a car manufactured at any time in 2011 will require an MOT no later than 31stDecember 2014. There is no grace period given after these dates.