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For UK drivers, a MOT test provides invaluable information about any vehicle that has been on the road from 2005 to the present. While many drivers are likely already familiar with a MOT (Ministry of Transport) and MOT history check, below is a brief overview of MOT test, including what vehicles are required to undergo and when, what is checked during a MOT, how to obtain a MOT history report, and what information is reported. This links directs you to MOT history via .Gov
What is a MOT?
Originally introduced in 1960, annual MOT checks verify a vehicle’s safety, exhaust emissions, and roadworthiness. A MOT test can only be obtained through an approved MOT test centre, which is identified by a blue sign with three white triangles.
Check MOT history, registration plate changes and other histories with a vehicle history check (helpful guide on using car checking services to look at data).
When are MOT Tests Required?
An initial MOT test is required when a vehicle is 3 years out. In addition, a MOT test must be performed by the anniversary of the its last test date each year thereafter. However, the test can only be conducted up to a month (minus a day) prior to its expiration date. If you are caught driving without a valid MOT, road tax and road insurance you may be fined as much as £1,000.
What is Checked During a MOT Test?
Find out more about checking vehicle history on our homepage.
Although the MOT test doesn’t examine a vehicle’s engine, gearbox, or clutch, it does look at almost every other part, including:
- Overall structure and body
- Fuel system
- Steering and suspension
- Electrical wiring and battery
- Tow bar
- Exhaust system
- Exhaust emissions
- Seats and seatbelts
- Doors and Mirrors
- Wipers, washers, and windscreen
- Load Security to make sure the boot properly closes
- Wheels and tyres
- Registration plates
- VIN (vehicle identification number)
How to Obtain a MOT History Check
Anyone can check the result of a vehicle’s previous MOT tests and obtain its current status by visiting the DVSA website (Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency). To perform a check, you will need to have the following information available:
- The vehicle’s registration number (on number plate)
- The 11-digit number assigned to the test site, which can be found on the vehicle’s V5C logbook
Histories can only be obtained for vehicles tested in England, Wales, or Scotland since 2005.
What Information is Available on a MOT History Check?
The MOT history includes:
- Whether or not the vehicle passed its last MOT test
- The mileage shown at the time it was tested
- What parts failed the test and any parts that demonstrated minor problems
- When the next MOT is due
A MOT history check is an excellent indicator of a vehicle’s overall condition and whether or not it is safe to drive. It’s very important that a MOT history check be conducted prior to purchasing any used vehicles in the UK.
Watch out for advisory notes in the last test that often become reasons for failure in the proceeding test.