Online MOT Bookings Made Easy
An MOT test is compulsory for all vehicles in the UK which are older than three years. It is an important part of car maintenance and involves a thorough inspection following strict criteria set out according to DVSA. The aim of an MOT is to determine whether or not your car is fit for purpose and roadworthy.
While many vehicle owners feel that MOTs are an inconvenience, it is the furthest from the truth. In fact, driving a car that is not roadworthy is unsafe and dangerous to you and everyone around you. There is no excuse to ignore the legally required test especially considering that it’s inexpensive and doesn’t take long.
What Is The Ministry Of Transport Test?
The Ministry of Transport test covers several safety checks around the vehicle. All cars are required by law to pass an annual MOT test as defined by the Road Traffic Act of 1988. The only vehicles exempt from an MOT are cars, bikes, vans and motorbikes older than 40 years without any significant modifications. Electric vehicles are also among the exclusions.
Only DVSA-approved centres and examiners may carry out an MOT test. For first-timers, the test is only a visual check and not an actual car service. Examiners only inspect the vehicle for any potential issues but cannot make repairs so you still need to book a service.
What Do Examiners Check During An MOT?
In the new MOT test, examiners conduct comprehensive checks on the exterior, interior, under the bonnet and underneath the vehicle. This includes the steering system, reversing lights and brake discs. Other components included in the test are as follows:
- Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
- Registration plate
- Wipers and washer bottle
- Seats and seatbelts
- Fuel system
- Doors and mirrors
- Wheels and tyres
If they detect a major leak in the steering box, you will get an automatic fail. Broken or blown reversing lights are also scrutinised while significantly worn are failed automatically.
What’s The Difference Between Minor, Major and Dangerous Defects?
Defects identified during an MOT are classified as minor, major or dangerous. The category it falls under will largely depend on the type of problem and the severity. Testing centres will provide you with advice on the defects that may either need close monitoring or immediate repair. Here is a simple breakdown:
- Minor faults are advisory notices that examiners add to MOT certificates. This refers to issues that are not deemed serious enough to fail the car but still need attention
- Major faults, on the other hand, must be repaired before the vehicle can pass the test. You can use the MOT centre for repairs but if not, you are allowed to drive to another garage
- In terms of dangerous faults, these will result in an automatic ‘FAIL’ and you cannot drive the car on public roads until repairs have been made
Related: ‘New Ministry Of Transport Test Rules’
Help Yourself Pass The Test
Most of the time vehicles fail their MOT due to minor faults that can easily be addressed beforehand. You can save yourself time and money by carrying out a few simple checks to avoid the more common issues:
- Check headlights, indicators, fog lamps, brake lights, hazards and dashboard warning lights
- Test brakes, handbrake and steering wheel
- Inflate all tyres to the correct pressure (don’t forget the spare)
- Tyre tread depth must be at least 1.6 mm including the spare
- Remove any stickers that may obstruct the driver’s view
- Check wiper blades for damage
- Mirrors should be intact
- VIN number must match the car’s logbook information (V5C registration certificate)
- Registration plates should be clear and easy to read
- Personalised number plates must also meet the DVLA’s standards
- The horn should be loud and clear
- Clean your car beforehand as testers can refuse to inspect a cluttered car
What Happens If I Don’t Have A Valid MOT?
Contrary to what some may believe, there IS NO grace period for an MOT test! If you are caught driving a vehicle on a public road without a valid certificate, you could get a £100 on-the-spot fine or up to £1000. You also risk invalidating your insurance in the event of an accident.
A late, expired or non-existent MOT is not something you can ignore as it’s illegal and extremely dangerous, especially if your car is not fully roadworthy. An invalid MOT may also mean facing prosecution unless you have proof that you are on the way to a testing centre.
Book Your MOT Online With Elite Garages
Elite Garages have numerous DVSA-accredited branches across the south offering exceptional customer service, expert and professional workmanship. We offer MOTs on cars and small commercial vehicles at all of our branches except Strood.
The test takes about an hour and you can also book a car service if you need any repairs. With our simple online system, it’s never been easier to book an MOT online. At the same time, why not sign up to become an Elite Member and receive a FREE text reminder so you’ll never miss an MOT again?
Get Ahead With Elite Garages
At Elite Garages, we offer comprehensive vehicle safety checks at no cost to you. These can help identify any underlying issues before they become serious, dangerous and expensive. They minimise your risk of breaking down while avoiding potentially fatal situations on the road.
Our technicians are friendly, professional and expertly trained to offer you the best possible advice and service. To ensure you and your family enjoy a safe journey, visit Elite Garages today for a FREE vehicle safety check. For more information about vehicle servicing, tyres, batteries, shocks and exhausts among others, please get in touch.