The purpose of the car MOT is to ensure that your vehicle meets the minimum safety level required by law. If your vehicle is older than 3 years you are required to have an annual safety check, known as MOT (Ministry Of Transport) test. During the MOT the tester will conduct an inspection and a comprehensive series of checks around the vehicle. This includes the interior, exterior, under the bonnet and under the vehicle.
Once the MOT test is completed, you will receive either a Pass or Fail – with a corresponding certificate. If your car passes its MOT, you will receive a VT20 MOT certificate. In the likelihood of failing your MOT, test centres issue a VT30 ‘Refusal of an MOT Test Certificate’. This will include the details of your car, the MOT test number and reasons why it didn’t pass.
The primary goal is checking vehicle safety and roadworthiness with brakes and emissions receiving special attention. An MOT is necessary once a vehicle is three years old and then annually thereafter. The MOT test is only a visual check so examiners are not allowed to make any changes or repairs but you still need, from a maintenance point of view, to book a regular service.
Changes to the MOT test
May 2018 saw a few changes to the MOT test in England, Scotland and Wales. It affects cars, vans, motorcycles and other light passenger vehicles. Defects identified in an MOT test are classified as minor, major or dangerous. During the MOT test, the defect category will depend on the type of problem and how serious it is. MOT testers will give advice on the items in question that need close monitoring and repair if necessary.
Below is a breakdown of all the different defect categories and subsequent test results.
|Dangerous||A defect that has a direct and immediate risk to road safety or presents a serious impact on the environment. Do not drive the vehicle until it has been repaired.||Fail|
|Major||Possible effect on vehicle safety and may put other road users at risk or have an impact on the environment. Repair the defect immediately.||Fail|
|Minor||No significant effect on the safety of the vehicle or impact on the environment. Repairs are required as soon as possible.||Pass|
|Advisory||Not a safety concern yet but could become more serious in the future. Monitor and repair if needed.||Pass|
|Pass||It meets the minimum legal standard. Ensure that it continues to meet the standard.||Pass|
There are also stricter emission limits for diesel cars with a diesel particulate filter (DPF). Your vehicle will get a major fault if smoke of any colour is emitted during the MOT test or if there is clear evidence that the DPF has been tampered with.
The MOT certificate has also changed in terms of design and content. It now lists all defects under the new categories making it clear and easy to understand. Vehicles older than 40 years do not need an MOT unless they have ‘substantially changed’. You can check a vehicle’s registration date online if you are unsure. Before the new changes, only cars built before 1960 were not required to get the test.
Among other changes, the new MOT test includes checking steering systems, reversing lights and brake discs. A heavy leak in the steering box will now result in failing your MOT test. Reversing lights that don’t work or blown bulbs are also scrutinised. In addition, significantly or obviously worn brake discs will also result in an automatic fail.
While we have mentioned some of the important elements of the new MOT test, please contact Elite Garages if you would like additional information.
MOT test at Elite Garages
We perform MOT tests on cars and small commercial vehicles at all of our branches except Strood. The MOT test takes about an hour. After completion, the technicians will inform you of the results and advise if any work is required in the event of a fail. We also offer a FREE retest within 10 working days.
MOT pricing depends on which slot is booked as some are offered at a discounted rate. This is part of our new online booking system. You can also sign up for our FREE text reminder service so you will never forget your MOT date.
It’s important to ensure that your MOT is up to date and that you don’t miss your annual test. If you do, it carries a fine of £1000 and your insurance would be invalid so book your test before it’s too late.