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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 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 3 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 out Epsom site all staffed with highly trained technicians and mechanics.

MOT Symbol

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
1 Motorcycle (engine size up to 200cc) 3 £29.65
1 Motorcycle with sidecar (engine size up to 200cc) 3 £37.80
2 Motorcycle (engine size over 200cc) 3 £29.65
2 Motorcycle with sidecar (engine size over 200cc) 3 £37.80
3 3-wheeled vehicles (up to 450kg unladen weight) 3 £37.80
4 3-wheeled vehicles (over 450kg unladen weight) 3 £54.85
4 Cars (up to 8 passenger seats) 3 £54.85
4 Motor caravans 3 £54.85
4 Quads (max unladen weight 4kg - for goods vehicles 550kg and max net power of 15kw) 3 £54.85
4 Dual purpose vehicles 3 £54.85
4 Private hire and public service vehicles (up to 8 seats) 3 £54.85
4 Ambulances and taxis 1 £54.85
4 Private passenger vehicles and ambulances (9-12 passenger seats) 1 £57.30
4 Goods vehicles (up to 3,000kg design gross weight) 3 £54.85
4a Class 4 vehicles (9-12 passenger seats) with a seat belt installation check n/a £64
5 Private passenger vehicles and ambulances (13-16 passenger seats) 1 £59.55
5 Private passenger vehicles and ambulances (more than 16 passenger seats) 1 £80.65
5 Playbuses 1 £80.65
5a Class 5 vehicles (13-16 passenger seats) with a seatbelt installation check n/a £80.50
5a Class 5 vehicles (more than 16 passenger seats) with a seatbelt installation check n/a £124.50
7 Good vehicles (over 3,000kg up to 3,500kg design gross weight) 3 £58.60

Wilsons MOT tests start from £40 for cars and 'Class 7' vans

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.

Aspect of VehicleWhat is being checked
Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) VIN must be present and legibly displayed on the vehicle
Registration Plate Condition, security, legibility and format of letters and number on the plate
Lights Condition, operation, security and colour of vehicle lights. Headlamp aim is also checked to see if it is correct
Steering and Suspension Correct condition and operation of all steering and suspension compenents
Wipers and Washer Bottle Proper operation of vehicles wipers and washers to give the driver a clear view of the road
Windscreen Any chips or cracks that are outside of the permitted damage sizes
Horn Operation for effectiveness and suitability
Seatbelts Type, condition, correct operation, security and all compulsory seatbelts are in place
Seats Front seats are checked for security
Fuel System Fuel cap fastens and seals securely and there a no fuel leaks
Emissions Exhaust emissions must be within specific guidelines. Exhaust is complete, secure, without serious leaks and silences effectively.
Bodywork Vehicle structure and body shell for excessive corrosion or damage in specific areas and any sharp edges
Doors Correctly open and close and latch is secure in a closed position. Front doors should open from inside and outside of the vehicle
Mirrors Condition and security
Wheels and Tyres Condition, security, tyre size and type and tread depth
Brakes Efficiency of vehicle's braking performance, condition and operation

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; 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 3 years of age
  • Cars and motorcycles made before 1960
  • Goods vehicles powered by electricity
  • Tractors