Check The MOT History Of A Car

Posted on 14 December 2017 by CarTakeBack

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Getting ready for an MOT is something that all car owners need to be aware of, but it can be tricky to know when your MOT is due, or, if you’re buying a new car, to know how to check its MOT history in order to identify any long-standing issues.

What Is an MOT?

The Ministry of Transport test, more commonly known as the MOT test, is an annual assessment of how roadworthy your vehicle is. For cars over three years old, the MOT test also checks whether your car meets the required exhaust emissions for the UK.

What’s Included in an MOT?

During the MOT test, different areas of your car will be examined to ensure they’re up to standard. These include seats and seatbelts, fuel and exhaust systems, brakes, tyres and wheels, as well as the windscreen, wipers and washers, the steering and suspension, doors, mirrors, lights, the horn and electrical components. When your car is in for its MOT, its general condition and structure will also be checked.

MOT Test

How Often Does a Car Need an MOT?

If your car is less than three years old, you will not need an MOT. However, if your car is older than this, you will need to take it for an annual MOT check – this is your responsibility, though you will be sent a reminder a month before your MOT is due. You’ll also be sent another reminder if your vehicle hasn’t been tested two weeks prior to its MOT.

Can I Drive My Car If My MOT Is Due?

If your MOT is overdue, you will not be able to drive your vehicle. The only exception is when driving to the MOT test centre – if pulled over by the police, you will need to prove that this is where you are going. If you take your car for an MOT before the due date and your car fails, you can still drive your car as normal up until the MOT date expires.
Driving your vehicle without an MOT is simply not worth the risk – you could be fined up to £1,000 if caught! If you continue to drive a vehicle classed as 'dangerous' you could be fined up to £2,500, get a driving ban and 3 penalty points on your license!

How Much Does an MOT Cost?

The cost of an MOT varies depending on which garage you take it to, but generally, you can expect the cost to be between £25 and £50, with a maximum fee for a car at £54.85.

The maximum fees that MOT test stations can charge is dependant on the type of car. For more information, please refer to the website.

What Happens If I Fail My MOT?

If you fail your MOT, you will be issued with a VT3- ‘Refusal of an MOT Test Certificate’. While this can be frustrating, you have choices with what to do next.

You can either leave it at the test centre for repairs;

Or, you can take the work elsewhere to be carried out and then return the car to the test centre. If you do this within one working day, your retest will be free; if you bring the vehicle back within 10 working days, you may be charged a partial retest fee. However, if you get your car retested after 10 working days, you will be charged for the full MOT.

If your car is going to cost too much to repair and you decide it's come to end of it's life, CarTakeBack will be able to collect your car from any accessible address.

How Do I Check My Car’s MOT History Online?

If you’re looking at buying your next car, checking its MOT history is not only a good way to ensure the car has a valid certificate, it can also tell you what’s gone wrong with the car in the past and what may need to be repaired in the future.

Screenshot from to Check MOT History

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to check the MOT history of a car online:

Getting Started

You’ll need:

  • Your car’s registration number

Checking the MOT History

You’ll then be shown your vehicle details at the top of the page, followed by the full MOT history of the car.
It’s important to note that this search tool only shows results as far back as 2005 and some MOT test results for recently transferred personalised registrations aren’t available.

If your car is deemed unroadworthy, you will not be able to tax or insure it. Since it is illegal to drive without these requirements in place, it is therefore vital that you MOT your car.

If your car fails its MOT and is too expensive to repair, then you can always scrap your vehicle with us. You can find out instantly how much your old car is worth, allowing you to weigh up your options quickly and efficiently.

For more help and advice, check out our blog.