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The UK MOT Test

This is a page I created because when teaching Driving lessons in Dewsbury and Wakefield, I would often get asked ‘what’s a M.O.T test all about’? Or would hear comments like: ‘my friends buying a car, it must be in good condition because it’s got 12 months M.O.T’. This page goes some way to explaining some of the key points of the test.

An M.O.T Test, or Ministry of Transport test, is a yearly examination that is carried out on your vehicle at all garages that have been approved by the The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) to perform this Test. The Test is to guarantee that any vehicles over three years old are being maintained to a high standard and that they comply with the legal requirements for being in safe working order and eco friendly. The M.O.T is a very extensive test and the price for the test may vary from garage to garage. Don’t necessarily choose the lowest priced first, question friends and relatives who they normally use, or even ask your former driving instructor who they recommend for their M.O.T tests, or any other maintenance work you may need.

After the test you will be given a report, which is divided into sections on various components of the vehicle:

MOT sign

  • Steering and suspension
  • Lights and mirrors
  • Number plate and Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Windscreen, wipers and washers
  • Seats and seat belts
  • Fuel and exhaust system, including emissions
  • Doors and vehicle structure
  • Wheels, tyres and brakes
  • Horn
  • The bonnet catch

The engineer will examine the list above to determine if the car is safe to drive and also remain on the roads. If any of the list do not meet certain standards, the engineer will provide you with a failure report for the M.O.T, this will list any improvements needed. You can then legally drive your vehicle home, as well as drive to the garage for retesting, but only when the improvements in the report have been carried out. The vehicle must then be tested again within one week; otherwise, it is illegal to be on the road.

Once any work as been completed the garage will retest then issue a pass certificate, as well as update the VOSA database that the vehicle has passed the test. If you fail to get your vehicle M.O.T test before the due date you will not be able to tax (if due) your vehicle, or take out insurance. This is why you can you can take your car for a M.O.T a month before its due date, so any repairs can be carried out.

It is a mistake to assume that a car is in good all round condition because it has a year’s M.O.T; other vital systems (engine, clutch and gearbox to name a few) are not part of the M.O.T and therefore will not be identified as problems on the test report.

Being a Driving Instructor and providing Driving Lessons in the Wakefield and Dewsbury areas we use local garages and Tyre houses etc. If you need any advice on reputable garages or other maintenance services to use in the Wakefield and Dewsbury areas don’t hesitate to contact us, you can use the contact box or post a question on our 1way Driving School Facebook Page.

Related Links:
How Cars Work

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