During the MoT test the nominated tester, a person authorised by a government body called the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) will conduct an inspection and a comprehensive series of checks around the vehicle, including the interior, exterior, under the bonnet and under the vehicle.
The result of each check is recorded- if the vehicle passes a VT40 'pass' certificate is issued. If the vehicle fails to meet the required standard a VT30 'failure' document is issued. Items that are not quite a failure, but worthy of a mention to you so you can keep an eye on them are drawn to your attention as 'advisory' items.
It is your responsibility to ensure your vehicle is examined every 12 months. Without a current MoT certificate, you will be unable to drive your vehicle lawfully or renew your road fund license. Recent computerisation of the MoT testing system by VOSA means police and mobile camera units can now check remotely to see if your vehicle has a current MoT.
The penalty for not having an up to date MoT certificate could be a fine. Also if the vehicle is involved in an accident you may be asked to produce your MoT certificate. An insurance claim could be affected by the absence of your MoT, especially in the case of injury.
When does my car need an MOT?
Originally called the Ministry of Transportation test, an MoT is a thorough annual examination of a vehicle that is three years old or more. The MoT tests both the safety of your vehicle and the level of emissions in the exhaust.
The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) is responsible for 'licensing' both the MoT test station and the MoT tester.
It is your responsibility to ensure that your vehicle is examined every 12 months. Without an MoT certificate, you will be unable to renew your road tax and your car may not be insured. Having a current MoT certificate is also a legal requirement in the UK.
MoT Nominated Testers are accredited by VOSA to assess your vehicle against specific safety criteria and to pass it as acceptable and safe, or not. The acceptable standards are as recorded in the current Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) Vehicle Inspection Manual.
The assessment is based on the condition of the vehicle on the day. The Nominated Tester will separately list and inform you of any 'advisory' items that have passed the test but will require attention in the future.
An individual part of the vehicle may be considered to be beyond its serviceable life when measured against specifications, but still capable of passing the MoT test by a Nominated Tester, applying the test criteria.
What do I need to take with me?
Once you have booked your vehicle in for its MoT, remember to take your Vehicle Registration Document – often referred to as the 'V5' document – and a means of paying the current fee.
You can book an MOT up to 28 days in advance of its due date. In fact it is not widely known that the expiry date on your new MOT is 12 months from the expiry of your old one. This means you could have an MOT that last 13 months.
The MoT certificate is only required if you would like the new MoT to run for more than 12 months.