MOT Guide

An MOT test is an annual test of vehicle safety, roadworthiness and exhaust emissions that is required by law for most vehicles over three years old that are used on anything defined as a 'road' in the Road Traffic Act 1988.

What if I don't have a valid MOT?

Driving a vehicle without a valid MOT can result in a fine of up to £1,000. The only occasion where it is acceptable to drive a vehicle without a valid MOT, is when the vehicle is being driven to an MOT test centre and this can be proven with an appointment or by some other form of sufficient evidence.

When can I get an MOT?

All MOT tests are valid for a year and the date that it runs out is printed on the most recent pass certificate. An MOT test can be conducted on your vehicle up to a month (minus a day) before it runs out, in order for you to retain the same renewal date. However, if an MOT test is performed prior to its renewal date, the renewal date for the following year’s MOT will be different.

Where should I get my MOT done?

You must use an approved MOT test centre for your vehicle’s MOT. Only test centres showing the blue sign with three white triangles are permitted to carry out your MOT legally. Depending on the test centre, MOT tests can either be booked in person, over the phone or online through their personal website’s booking system.

Wilsons is an approved MOT test centre equipped with the latest franchise diagnostic equipment and technology that other garages may not possess. We have three MOT test centres at our Epsom site which all staffed with highly trained technicians and mechanics.

How much is an MOT?

Depending on the type of vehicle that is being tested, there are varying maximum fees that a test centre can charge. Wilsons MOT prices start from as little as £40 for a car and 'Class 7' van MOT test.

ClassVehicle TypeAge first MOT needed (years)Maximum MOT fee
1Motorcycle (engine size up to 200cc)3£29.65
2Motorcycle (engine size over 200cc)3£29.65
4Cars (up to 8 passenger seats)3£54.85
4Motor caravans3£54.85
4Goods vehicles (up to 3,000kg design gross weight)3£54.85
4aClass 4 vehicles (9-12 passenger seats) with a seat belt installation checkn/a£64
7Good vehicles (over 3,000kg up to 3,500kg design gross weight)3£58.60

What does an MOT actually check?

MOT tests don't check every aspect of your vehicle, for example the condition of the engine, clutch and gearbox are not tested. In total, there are 16 areas of your vehicle that will be tested including the lights, wheels and tyres, windscreen, horn and seatbelts. All of the elements are tested to ensure that they are in a safe condition for use so that collectively, the vehicle is safe to be on the road.

Book Your MOT

I've booked my MOT, what happens next?

The MOT test lasts for about 45 minutes, in which time the tester will either pass or fail your vehicle. If your vehicle passes you will receive an MOT certificate from the tester and the result will be recorded in the MOT database. However, if your vehicle fails, you will receive a refusal of an MOT test certificate from the test centre which will also be recorded in the MOT database.

If your previous MOT certificate is still valid (i.e. you still have some time left before the certificate expiration date) you can take your vehicle away and it is legal to drive until the certificate expires. But if your MOT has run out, you can leave your vehicle with the test centre to have the defects fixed. You can also take your vehicle elsewhere to have the failed defects fixed, or decide to scrap or sell the vehicle.

There are some vehicles that are exempt from MOT testing:

  • Vehicles under three years of age.
  • Cars and motorcycles made before 1960.
  • Goods vehicles powered by electricity.
  • Tractors.
  • MOT Guide
  • MOT Guide 2
  • MOT Guide 3
  • MOT Guide 4
Transport For London

Cars need to meet minimum emission standards when travelling in the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) or the daily charge must be paid.

Minimum emission standards

Petrol: Euro 4
Diesel: Euro 6

The ULEZ will be enforced based on the declared emissions of the vehicle rather than the age. However:

Information from Transport For London

Check this car on the TFL website before purchasing:

All our vehicles are subject to an Admin Fee. Our Admin Fee covers any additional administration needed during your transaction, including a thorough provenance check (HPI Check). The admin fee also includes the cost to fully valet, register and, if necessary, MOT your vehicle (if less than 6 months left of current MOT).

Our administration fee is a variable fee which covers the additional administration needed when transacting with different categories of customers as specified. Retail Customers £199.00 - (Private buyers - NOT an owner, partner or director of a new/used vehicle sales company). Retail Customers using a finance broker outside our official panel of lenders paying funds direct to Wilsons Epsom - £399.00. All fees are inclusive of VAT.