MOT Test

MOT testing is required by law on all vehicles in the UK that are 3 years old or more. The annual inspection follows strict criteria set out by the DVSA that determines if your car is fit for purpose and in roadworthy condition. The MOT test covers a broad range of vehicle safety checks including lights, tyres, seatbelts and emissions and can only be carried out by a MOT garage with DVSA-approved examiners.

During the MOT test the nominated tester, a person accredited by the DVSA to assess your vehicle, will conduct a comprehensive inspection to ensure the vehicle is in roadworthy condition. However, it is not the same as having your vehicle serviced and the MOT test does not check the general mechanical condition of the vehicle. Also, the assessment is based on the condition of the vehicle on the day.


If the vehicle passes, the nominated tester will separately list and inform you of any 'advisory' or 'minor' items that will require attention in the near future, so you can keep an eye on them. If the vehicle fails you will be required to get the necessary repairs done ,you may be entitled to a free re-test.

Major changes to the MOT test came into force on 20th May this year regarding the way faults and problems are classified when a vehicle is tested. From this date, all vehicle faults are recorded as either Minor, Major or Dangerous. All Class 3,4,5 and 7 vehicles are tested against the new criteria; this includes all cars, motorhomes, buses and goods vehicles up to 3,500kg.

At present, a vehicle can simply pass, fail or receive an advisory on a specific item on the MOT test. So, how does the new MOT criteria for recording defects work? Here’s an explanation of the new categories plus some examples from the draft MOT guidance from the DVSA.

A ‘minor’ fault would be considered as one where the problem does not cause an immediate safety risk but should be rectified soon. This is very similar to the existing system whereby an advisory is given to items that the driver should be aware of and may cause a future MOT failure if not addressed. A MOT certificate will still be issued if a vehicle only has minor faults.

All vehicles manufactured since 1971 must have a minimum of 2 brake lights (or stop lights) at the rear of the vehicle. If a vehicle has three brakes lights and one is not functioning, the vehicle will receive a Minor defect on the MOT.

A ‘major’ fault is more serious, poses a potential safety risk to drivers and others. It could also be a defect that has a damaging impact on the environment. These faults will result in a MOT failure and the owner will not be issued with an MOT pass certificate until the issues have been rectified.

Using the same vehicle as an example, if two of the three brake lights are inoperative (specifically, more than ½), the vehicle will receive a Major defect on the MOT.

Meanwhile a fault classed as ‘dangerous’ is one that poses an immediate risk to the safety of the driver and other road users, and as such, the vehicle should not be driven until the fault has been rectified. This will also result in an immediate MOT failure.

Let’s take our vehicle with a brake light problem once again. If all of the brake lights are missing, broken or inoperative, the vehicle will receive a Dangerous defect on the MOT since other road users will have no way of telling if the vehicle is braking or coming to a stop.

Yes, minor faults will still be recorded in the same way and will appear as advisory items on the MOT test certificate. However, the DVSA have added that, when the new MOT is rolled out in May, the certificate will likely include explicit safety warnings for cars with serious faults and will highlight penalties for driving a dangerous vehicle.

The changes bring MOT testing in the UK in line with the new EU directive known as the European Union Roadworthiness Package which will use the same terminology for categorising faults. The terminology is also in keeping with existing wording for the Road Traffic Act which deems it is against the law to drive a vehicle that is in a ‘dangerous condition’. More specifically, the Act states that “a person is guilty of an offence if he uses, or causes or permits another to use, a motor vehicle or trailer on a road when. the condition of the motor vehicle or trailer, or of its accessories or such that the use of the motor vehicle or trailer involves a danger of injury to any person”.

So, in relation to MOTs, a ‘Dangerous’ item on the test is one whereby the vehicle should not be driven away from the garage since driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition is a criminal offence.

In terms of what constitutes a pass or fail, the new defect categories won’t have any real effect (unless you drive a diesel model - see below). A fail in a specific test area before the changes is still be a fail since 20th May, the main difference is that a failed component will now be classified as major or dangerous depending on its condition. In both cases the fault should be fixed immediately in order to obtain a new MOT test certificate, but if the fault is classed as Dangerous the vehicle should not be driven at all until rectified. The new measures are intended to highlight to drivers the most urgent problems and the safety risks they pose.

As well as the change in MOT fault classification, the MOT test is also much stricter for owners of diesel vehicles. All petrol and diesel cars must complete an emissions test in order to pass their MOT. That is, the amount of dangerous pollutants that the vehicle produces and expels from the exhaust such as carbon monoxide is measured and should not surpass the limit set by the DVSA. The limit for diesel vehicles is lowered from 20th May meaning the test is stricter and harder to pass for older vehicles where the exhaust system may not be as effective. In addition, vehicles fitted with a diesel particulate filter are scrutinised more closely and if smoke of any colour is emitted, the vehicle will be issued a Major fault, and consequently a MOT fail.

This is the latest in a series of steps by the Government to discourage drivers from buying new or used diesel vehicles. In the Autumn budget, it was announced that anyone buying a new diesel car from April this year will face a tax hike and be charged as if the vehicle was in the next tax band for the first year. This could add anything from £15 to £500 on to your road tax bill in the first year. So, be mindful if you are planning to buy a new or used diesel vehicle soon, you may be hit hard in the pocket trying to keep it on the road.

In 2018, the maximum fee for a car is £54.85 and £29.65 for a standard motorcycle. There's a complete list on the website. Some MOT test centres will charge less than the maximum fee

This Ministry of Transport test is commonly known as a 'MOT' A MOT involves dozens of checks on your car, ranging from the brakes and fuel system to lights, mirrors, seatbelts, windscreen wipers and exhaust system. It doesn't cover the condition of the engine, clutch and gearbox.

In any other circumstances, driving the vehicle would be breaking the law. The answer is that you can still drive your vehicle if it fails the test and its existing MOT certificate is still valid (i.e. if your test was before the expiry date) as long as no 'dangerous' problem(s) were listed in the MOT

MOT rule changes: 20 May 2018. The MOT test changed on 20 May 2018, with new defect types, stricter rules for diesel car emissions, and some vehicles over 40 years old becoming exempt. The changes affect cars, vans, motorcycles and other light passenger vehicles. There are 5 main changes you need to know.

If your car fails its MOT: You will be given a refusal of MOT certificate (VT30) Your vehicle must be repaired and retested to comply with MOT standards. You may not be covered by your insurance, so you are advised not to drive it, except to an approved test centre or a garage for repairs.

Cars to become MOT exempt when they hit 40 (years of age) An extra 300,000 owners of classic old cars will be MOT exempt after the Department for Transport announced cars more than 40 years old will no longer have to undergo their annual roadworthiness check.

Car cleaning products.
Brake fluid (if required)
Replacement mirror glass (if required)
New wiper blades (if required)
Top up your screen wash (if it's getting a bit low)
Number plates (if required)
Bulbs (if required)
Tyre tread depth gauge.

What documents do I need to bring? If your vehicle is undergoing its first MOT then a V5C vehicle registration certificate (log book) is required, this document is also required if your vehicle has had a change of registration plate since its last MOT. In all other instances no documentation is required.

Bring it back within 10 working days: If you choose to have your car repaired elsewhere, you can take it back to the original testing centre for a partial retest within10 days of the initial test.

Sometimes, the worst part of getting your car fixed is having to bring it to the garage We are therefore happy to offer our customers a collection and delivery service If you prearrange a collection, we will pick your car up from your home or place of work and drive it to our premises, carry out all the necessary work (having consulted you) and deliver it back to you at the end of the day.

We are able to tow, jump start or repair your vehicle if you are experiencing problems or broken down for a small fee. If we can’t sadly start your vehicle, we can contact a local recovery firm to collect your vehicle for a very competitive price.

  • Don’t want to waste your day off?
  • You don’t have the time to take your car in for a service or repairs?
  • Have you got problems with getting to and from the garage?

Here at Many Autos, we believe that we offer a valuable product with our Free Collection and Delivery Service, we can collect either from your place of work or from your home address. If you are unsure about whether the address you are considering having your vehicle collected from is not within our range, then please do contact us.

Many Autos operate a fleet of pool cars with a dedicated driver, so wherever we are collecting from, we need to be able to leave one of our pool vehicles either in your work car park / parking space, or if in a residential area, we would need to be able to leave our car either at your house or on the road with a permit if required. We would be grateful if you could bear this in mind when booking to use our free Collection and delivery service