When to get an MOT
The MOT test checks that your vehicle meets road safety and environmental standards.
You must get an MOT for your vehicle by either:
- the third anniversary of its registration
- the anniversary of its last MOT, if it’s over 3 years old
Some vehicles need to be tested at one year old - check the MOT fees table to see which.
Find out how to check your MOT expiry date.
There are different rules and processes in Northern Ireland for MOTs for vehicles registered in Northern Ireland.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting an MOT
You need to get an MOT for your vehicle as usual.
Do not take your vehicle to an MOT centre in person if:
- you or someone you live with has coronavirus symptoms
- you’ve been told by the NHS Test and Trace service that you’ve been in contact with someone who has coronavirus
- you’re self-isolating because you recently entered the UK
- you’re shielding because you’re clinically extremely vulnerable
If you cannot take your vehicle in person
Some MOT centres will collect your vehicle for the MOT and then return it. Contact an MOT centre to see if this service is available.
You can also get someone else to take your vehicle into a test centre if you insure them on your vehicle.
If you cannot get your vehicle collected or taken in for you, you must wait until you’re no longer self-isolating to take it into a test centre.
If the MOT has run out
If your tax is due to run out, register your vehicle as ‘off the road’ - you cannot renew your vehicle tax if your MOT has expired.
Book an MOT test.
Tax your vehicle once it has passed its MOT.
You cannot drive or park your vehicle on the road if the MOT has run out. You can be prosecuted if caught.
The only exceptions are to drive it:
- to or from somewhere to be repaired
- to a pre-arranged MOT test
Earliest date you can get an MOT
An MOT lasts for a year. The date it runs out is printed on your current MOT pass certificate.
You can be fined up to £1,000 for driving a vehicle without a valid MOT.
You can get an MOT up to a month (minus a day) before it runs out and keep the same renewal date.
Example If your MOT runs out on 15 May, the earliest you can get an MOT to keep the same renewal date for next year is 16 April.
You can get an MOT earlier, but the renewal date for the following year will change to one year (minus a day) from the date the vehicle last passed its MOT.
Example Your MOT is due to run out on 15 May, so the earliest you can get it done is 16 April. However, you take your vehicle for its MOT on 14 April and it passes. This means that the MOT expiry date changes to 13 April the following year.