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MOT car check: What you need to know

As an owner of a vehicle, you’re responsible for ensuring its MOT certificate is valid. But do you know all there is to know, when it comes to MOTs?

What are the legal facts surrounding MOTs?

MOTs are legally required as they ensure the safety of you and other road users. If you drive a vehicle without a valid MOT certificate you could be issued with a £1,000 fine. Driving without a valid MOT certificate not only voids your insurance, but if you were to be involved in an accident you would not be covered.

When do I need an MOT?

New vehicles don’t need an MOT until they’re three years old. After the vehicle has reached three years of age, it will need testing annually. There are some exceptions to this rule, for example if you’re a taxi owner then you’ll likely to need an MOT before these three years are up.

How much does an MOT cost?

The cost of an MOT varies dependent on your vehicle. The maximum price you should pay is determined by the government, with the cost determined on which category your vehicle falls into. Most cars fit into vehicle category 4, with tests costing up to £54.85. You can keep up to date with MOT pricing over at https://www.gov.uk/getting-an-mot/mot-test-fees

MOT testing station

MOT testing station

Are there some vehicle checks I can make before booking my MOT?

Yes, there are some simple steps you can take to prepare your vehicle for passing its MOT. Have a look at our pre MOT checklist blog post at https://www.wewantanycar.com/news/pre-mot-checklist.

Remember, an MOT check not only focuses on the mechanics and exterior of the vehicle, but also assess the interior of it too. Seats are checked to ensure they can be secured into an upright position, seatbelts are assessed for damage and whether they function correctly and the horn checked to see if it is in working condition. Again all of these interior vehicle checks are easy to make and can make the difference of your vehicle passing or failing.

What’s new in MOT checks for 2014?

Prior to February 2014 vehicles were tested to ensure that they meet the minimum standards for emissions. However, vehicle emission tests changed earlier this year and there’s now a test to check that diesel vehicles have a diesel particulate filter (DPF) in place.

These filters have been fitted to all diesel cars manufactured in the past five years, and reduce emissions by around 80%. Vehicles which should have a DPF fitted but are found to be without one will automatically fail their MOT.

Over time these filters have a tendency to get blocked and it appears instead of cleaning them, which is an easy and inexpensive task to conduct, many garages have been opting to simply remove the filters. If you find that your filter has been removed you’ll have to pay for a filter to be refitted to your vehicle.

What if my vehicle fails its MOT?

If your vehicle fails an MOT you can drive it away from the test centre, as long as it meets a certain standard of roadworthiness, i.e. doesn’t pose a threat to you or other road users. Once your vehicle has been repaired it will need to be retested. You should qualify for a free retest if you’ve had your vehicle repaired at the test centre and it’s retested within 10 days.

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