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Sunday, 20 May 2012 10:58

What is the 'MOT'?

MOT Information for Motorists

Welcome to the ‘Car Owner's Guide to the MOT’ page

Here you will find just about everything you need to know about the UK MOT and getting your vehicle MOT Tested.

This page gives you an overview of the MOT Test. To see a description of how each item on your car is MOT Tested, click on the 'MOT Guide' link. It contains details of how each item on a vehicle is Tested, with some items illustrated by short video clips. Please note that from early 2014 the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) was renamed the Driver and Vehicle Standards agency (DVSA). All references to VOSA are historical and will be updated when pages are edited.

Introduction to the UK MOT

 

All EC states must comply with a Directive to ensure that vehicles using public roads are mechanically safe and operate within emissions limits.

In mainland Britain, cars and light commercial vehicles must be Tested when they are three years old (except for taxis) and annually thereafter (this varies throughout the EC).

The MOT is designed to examine some important safety and emissions aspects of your car's operation to see that they meet certain legal requirements at the time of the Test.

Passing the MOT does not indicate that the vehicle will remain roadworthy until the next Test in a year's time.

In some Countries the mechanical and emissions Tests are separate. The UK MOT now covers over 150 checks of safety-related and emissions systems.

Where can I get an MOT?

 

There are over 19,000 garages throughout the UK authorised by VOSA to carry out MOT Testing. These Vehicle Testing Stations (VTS) are authorised to carry out MOT Testing on various classes of vehicle (see below).

VTSs will display the blue MOT 'triple triangle' logo. A non-authorised garage may have the MOT Test carried out on your behalf, but they must take it to an authorised VTS to have it carried out. If your MOT is carried out in this way you will be charged for VAT on the Test Fee. An MOT Testing Station may charge less than or up to the maximum allowable fee for the MOT Test, but may not charge more.

Diesel engined vehicles may only be MOT Tested at a VTS which is approved to carry out Diesel Testing.

What if my MOT certificate has already expired?

You are allowed to drive directly to a Vehicle Testing Station for a pre-booked MOT Test.

Diesel engined vehicles may only be MOT Tested at a VTS which is approved to carry out Diesel Testing.

MOT Test Classes

ClassDescription

Age first
Test

required
(years)

IMotor bicycles up to 200cc.3
IIAll Motor bicycles, with or without sidecars.3
IIIThree-wheeled vehicles up to 450kg u/l (over 450 kg are in class IV).3
IV

Cars, passenger vehicles, motor caravans and dual-purpose vehicles in all cases with up to eight passenger seats.

3
Goods vehicles up to 3,000kg Design Gross Weight1
Taxis and Ambulances in either case with up to eight passenger seats.1

Passenger vehicles, ambulances, motor caravans and dual -purpose vehicles in all cases with 9 to 12 passenger seats that:

  • are fitted with no more seat belts than the minimum required because of their construction; or
  • are identified as having been fitted with a type approved seat belt installation when built; or
  • have been Tested as class IVA, VA or VIA (PSV) with at least the same number of seat belts as are currently fitted.
IVA

(as normal class IV Test but with additional check on certain seat belts).

Passenger vehicles, ambulances, motor caravans and dual -purpose vehicles in all cases with 9 to 12 passenger seats that:

  • are fitted with more seat belts than the minimum required because of their construction and:
  • are not identified as having been fitted with a type approved seat belt installation when built; or
  • have not been Tested as class IVA, VA or VIA (PSV) with at least the same number of seat belts as are currently fitted.
 1
V

Private passenger vehicles, ambulances, motor caravans and dual purpose vehicles in all cases with 13 or more passenger seats (incl community buses etc) that:

  • are fitted with no more seat belts than the minimum required because of their construction; or
  • are identified as having been fitted with a type approved seat belt installation to all seats when built; or
  • have been Tested as class VA or class VIA (PSV) with at least the same number of seat belts as are currently fitted.
 1
VA

(as normal class VA Test but with additional check on certain seat belts). 

Passenger vehicles, ambulances, motor caravans and dual purpose vehicles in all cases with 13 or more passenger seats (incl community buses etc) that:

  • are fitted with more seat belts than the minimum required because of their construction and;
  • are not identified as having been fitted with a type approved seat belt installation when built; or
  • have not been Tested as class VA or class VIA (PSV) with at least the same number of seat belts as are currently fitted.
 1
VI, VIAPublic Service Vehicles (PSVs)  1
VIIGoods Vehicles over 3,000kg up to and including 3,500kg DGW.  3

 


Last modified on Wednesday, 17 August 2016 09:16
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UK MOT Testing Manuals Online


If you need more detailed information about the UK MOT Test, such as the method of inspection and reasons for failure, click on the relevant links below.

 UK MOT Testing Guide

If you want to become a Tester or to set up a Testing Station, what you need to do will be found in the Guide. It will also tell you how you will be expected to run the Testing Station and as a Tester what will happen if you do not carry out an MOT Test correctly – a disciplinary code.

UK Motorcycle Inspection Manual

The MOT examination for motorcycles is considerably more basic than that for cars and light commercial vehicles. This Manual covers the items checked, method of inspection and reasons for rejection.

UK Car and Light Commercial Vehicle Inspection Manual

This Manual covers the items checked, method of inspection and reasons for rejection for MOT Testing cars and light commercial vehicles.

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