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.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to MOTs

There are some changes to MOT tests because of coronavirus (COVID-19). How this affects you depends on when your MOT is due to expire.

30 March to 31 July

Your MOT will be automatically extended for 6 months because of coronavirus.

Example Your vehicle’s MOT was due to expire on 3 April 2020.

This will automatically be extended to 3 October 2020. You will need to get your MOT by this date.

Your MOT will renew on the extension date if your vehicle passes its MOT first time. If it fails, your MOT will renew on the date it passes after that.

Find out:

Before 30 March or after 31 July

You must book an MOT as usual.

When you must not take your vehicle for its MOT

You must not take your vehicle for its MOT if either:

You must stay at home (self-isolate) if either of these situations apply.

If you recently entered the UK

If you’ve entered the UK in the last 14 days you must not take your vehicle for its MOT, unless you:

If you’re shielding

You must not take your vehicle for its MOT if you’ve been told you should ‘shield’ because you’re extremely vulnerable to coronavirus.

Shielding has been paused in England, Scotland and Wales.

Some MOT centres will collect your vehicle, carry out an MOT, and return it if you’re being shielded. Contact your local MOT centres to find out if they offer this service.

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.

If the MOT has run out

  1. 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.

  2. Book an MOT test.

  3. 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

There are different rules and processes in Northern Ireland for MOTs for vehicles registered in Northern Ireland.