MOT Information:

The MOT tests some important items on your vehicle to check that they meet the legal standards. It isn’t the same as having your vehicle serviced and doesn’t check its general mechanical condition.

The MOT certificate confirms that your vehicle at the time of its test met the minimum acceptable environmental and road safety standards required by law. It doesn’t mean that the vehicle is roadworthy for the life of the certificate and isn’t a substitute for regular maintenance.

MOT test checks that your vehicle meets road safety and environmental standards. It is an offence to use a vehicle of MOT test age that doesn’t have a current test certificate on a public road.

How do I apply and what does it cost?

You can book a test online, by phone, in person or by post:

Can an MOT be carried out at any time?

You can apply for the MOT up to three months before a vehicle is due for test.

A vehicle can be tested up to 28 days before the current vehicle test certificate is due to expire. These early days can then be added onto the certificate expiry date, so that you still get a certificate which is valid for a full year from the current date of expiry. For example, if the current certificate was due to expire on 1 April 2014, and the vehicle passed on or after 4 March 2014, the certificate would run from the date of the test until 1 April 2015.

However, if a vehicle is tested more than 28 days before the current vehicle test certificate is due to expire, this time cannot be added on, and therefore you will be issued with a certificate which is valid for one year from the date of the test.

If a vehicle is being tested for the first time, for example, on the fourth anniversary of its registration, it legally cannot be tested more than 28 days early. If a vehicle has originally been tested in Great Britain, the 28 day facility does not apply, and the MOT certificate will be dated from the date of test in Northern Ireland.

The test does NOT cover the condition of the:

  • Engine
  • Clutch
  • Gearbox

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THE MOT COVERS THE FOLLOWING ELEMENTS

​Body, vehicle structure & general items

These will be inspected to check that:

  • they’re free from excessive corrosion or damage in specific areas
  • there are no sharp edges likely to cause injury

Towbars

Towbars will be inspected for:

  • secureness
  • condition
  • inappropriate repairs or modification

The MOT tester will also check that:

  • the 13 pin electrical socket is working correctly
  • the speedometer is in good working order
  • the engine mountings are secure

Fuel System

The fuel system will be inspected to check that:

  • there are no leaks
  • the pipes and hoses are secure and in a good condition
  • the fuel cap fastens and seals securely

Exhaust Emissions

The vehicle will be inspected, depending on the age and fuel type of the vehicle, to check that it meets the rules for exhaust emissions.

Diesel vehicles

The MOT tester will refuse to test your vehicle if they think that the smoke test may damage your engine.


Exhaust System

The exhaust system will be inspected to check that:

  • it’s secure and complete
  • a catalyst isn’t missing where one was fitted as standard
  • it’s without serious leaks and not too noisy

Seatbelts

The vehicle will be inspected to check that:

  • the mandatory seatbelts are in place
  • they are suitable for the vehicle
  • they are in a good condition
  • they work properly
  • they are attached securely

Seats

These will be inspected to check that:

  • the driver’s seat can be adjusted
  • all seats are securely fitted and that seat backs can be fixed in the upright position

Doors

These will be inspected to check that:

  • the latch is secure in the closed position
  • the front doors open from inside and outside the vehicle
  • the rear doors open from outside the vehicle
  • hinges and catches are secure and in a good condition

Mirrors

The vehicle will be inspected to check for the minimum number of mirrors, their condition and security. Indirect vision devices will also inspected.

Load Security

The vehicle will be inspected to check that the boot or tailgate can be closed properly.


Brakes

These will be inspected to check:

  • their condition, including inappropriate repairs or modifications
  • their operation and performance (the efficiency test) - the wheels and trims aren’t removed as part of the test
  • the anti-lock braking system (ABS) and electronic stability control (ESC) (where fitted)

Tyres and Wheels

These will be inspected to check for:

  • condition
  • security
  • tyre size and type
  • tread depth

Spare wheels and tyres are not inspected.


Registration Plate

These will be inspected to check for:

  • condition
  • secure attachment
  • colour
  • characters correctly formed and spaced

Lights

These will be inspected to check:

  • their condition
  • operation, including high intensity discharge (HID) and light emitting diode (LED)
  • the headlamps for cleaning, self levelling and security
  • headlamp aim
  • main beam warning light working

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Bonnet

This will be inspected to check that it closes securely.

Wipers & Washers

These will be inspected to check that they work properly so the driver has a clear view of the road.


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Windscreen

The windscreen will be inspected to check for:

  • condition
  • the driver’s view of the road

Horn

This will be inspected to check:

  • that it works properly
  • it’s suitable for the vehicle

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Steering & Suspension

These will be inspected to check:

  • their condition
  • steering oil level
  • they work correctly
  • for inappropriate repairs or modification including corrosion to power steering pipes or hoses
  • that the steering lock mechanism works properly

Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)

The VIN will be on vehicles first used on or after 1 August 1980. Your car will be inspected to check that a single VIN is displayed, except on multistage build vehicles (eg van conversion, BMW, Alpina etc).


Electrical

Visible electrical wiring and the battery will be checked.