1. The MOT test

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) and Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) have merged to form the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

You must keep any vehicles driven on the road in a roadworthy condition. The MOT test checks that your vehicle meets road safety and environmental standards.

It isn’t the same as having your vehicle serviced and doesn’t check its general mechanical condition.

The leaflets ‘Your car and the MOT’ and ‘Your motorbike and the MOT’ include a list of the parts of your vehicle that will be tested.

When to test

You must get an MOT test every year once your vehicle is 3 years old (or 1 year old in some cases - check the MOT fees table to see when).

You can then renew your MOT up to a month before it expires. The earliest date you can get your vehicle tested is printed on the pass certificate.

You need to use an approved MOT test centre to get your MOT. Only centres showing the blue sign with 3 white triangles can carry out your MOT.

Approved centres must show an official ‘MOT Test: Fees and Appeals’ poster on a public notice board on their premises. This must list contact details for your local DVSA area office.

If your MOT has expired

You can’t drive your vehicle on the road if the MOT has expired. You could be prosecuted if caught.

The only exception is if you’ve already booked an MOT and are driving your vehicle to the test centre.

Detailed information

Read the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency’s (VOSA’s) MOT inspection manuals and guides for a detailed breakdown of what’s covered in an MOT test.

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