IF you have never heard of a MoT test, or even if you just need a little help with finding out what it is and what it is for, then you have come to the right place.

Below we will give you a breakdown of everything you need to know or might just be wondering about it.

Q: What is it?

A: The MoT (Ministry of Transport) test is a test of vehicle safety and roadworthiness, as well exhaust emissions, required for most vehicles used on the roads in the United Kingdom. The first MoT test was introduced in 1960 and comprised of only a few basic tests of a vehicle, today the MoT test covers twenty different parts or systems on, or in, the vehicle.

Q: Do I need to have this test done for my vehicle?

A: When your vehicle is three years old from the date it was registered then a MoT test is required. After that you are required to have one done every year on or before the anniversary of the first test. It is your responsibility to ensure your vehicle is examined every twelve months. It is not law for the driver to be reminded of the upcoming renewal requirement.

Q: How do I know if my vehicle has one and if it is still valid?

A: If you have lost your MoT certificate and you need to find out how much longer your current certificate is valid for; you can use the vehicle enquiry service here. You just need to enter your vehicle’s registration number in the search box.

Q: Can I drive without MoT?

A: Definitely not, this can lead to a spot fine of £100 and a possible further fine of £1000 could be charged. You also run the risk of having your vehicle impounded and paying the fees for that as well.

Q: Is there a grace period for expired MoT certificates?

A: There is no grace period if your certificate has expired. Some motorists are under the impression that there is a period of grace extended to them regarding a lapsed MoT, but this is, unfortunately, not true. MoT testing was put on hold due to the Coronavirus pandemic but that is an extreme situation and generally does not happen.

Q: What documentation do I need to get a MoT?

A: Most approved testing centres can access the required documentation online but it is helpful to have your current MoT certificate and V5C Vehicle Registration Document with you when you go.

Q: How can I prepare for renewing my current MoT?

A: There are a few things to keep in mind when planning your renewal trip. You can refer to the checklist here for help and guidance ahead of your MoT outing.

Q: How are the issues that are picked up during the MoT test rated?

A: During the test, the tester will categorise the problems and issues that are picked up under three main categories; dangerous, major, and minor. If a problem or issue is deemed dangerous or major, that is an immediate fail. You will need to have those problems addressed and fixed before reapplying for another test.

Q: Can you drive your car to get its MoT test done without having a valid one?

A: Yes, the only acceptable time for you to be driving with a valid MoT is if you are driving to a pre-booked appointing for a MoT test. You need to have evidence of your appointment booking if you get pulled over, if you do not have acceptable proof that you are indeed on your way to get tested, you will get fined and your vehicle could be impounded.

Q: How do I find a MoT test centre?

A: There are around 22 188 active testing centres in the U.K and 22 046 of them are run by garages or other businesses. The rest of them are local council testing centres. It is so important to find a reputable garage that is fully qualified and authorised for MoT testing. Do not let anyone try and convince you that they can do it for you if their workshop looks like a backyard set-up.

Q: How soon can I get the MoT renewed?

A: You can get the MoT renewed up to a month minus one day before the due date of your current certificate.

Four in ten vehicles fail the first time they are tested so try and have all the necessary aspects of your vehicle checked and ready before you go to get it tested. Good luck!