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Hastings Direct.

What is An MOT test?

An MOT examiner inspects a car tyre.

MOT certificate

In the UK, any car more than 3 three years old must have an MOT certificate by law. The certificate, which is valid for one year, ensures your vehicle is roadworthy by undergoing a series of tests to measure it against safety and environmental standards.

If you are preparing for your vehicle's first MOT test and aren't sure what to expect — don't worry. We have put together a guide to help you understand the MOT test, how much it costs and what it involves.

The MOT test explained

After your vehicle reaches a certain age — three years — MOT tests are compulsory. Without an MOT certificate, you will not be able to tax your car and update your tax disc.

The test is designed to be comprehensive — it includes checking brakes, steering and suspension. A garage must be certified to perform an MOT test, and no matter where you undergo the test the same things will be checked as standard. Battery, airbags, speedometer will be checked, and your vehicle will be tested to make sure the petrol cap fits securely. The exhaust must be secure and meet MOT emission standards, which are set depending on the car's age and fuel type.

The garage will also check seats and seatbelts, registration plates, windscreen and horn.

Where do you get an MOT test?

There are some 19,000 authorised garages across the country so it's more than likely you can find a garage in your local area to take your vehicle to for an MOT test.

The maximum fee for an MOT test is set by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), a government agency that oversees the scheme. However, many garages charge less than the maximum fee, so check with a few local garages to find the best price.

Next steps

In the event your car fails the MOT test, you will receive a notification of failure. You will then be responsible for repairing the problem — the most common reasons for a failed MOT test are lighting, signalling and brake problems. Once this is completed, your car will need to be re-tested before it can be designated roadworthy.

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