MOT Guide | Toomey Motor Group
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the government issued an extension for MOT’s which ended in September 2020. As a result, September and October 2021 is expected to see record levels of MOTs. DVSA records show there will be around 1.3 million MORE MOTs during this period compared 2019. If your MOT is due soon, our advice would be to book now to avoid being unable to drive your vehicle.
Read on to find out more about MOTs, when it is due, and how to pass one!
What is an MOT?
MOT stands for Ministry of Transport Test. Today, this now exists in the form of the Department for Transport. However we still call it the MOT. The test is to ensure that the vehicle you drive is safe to be out on the roads.
All cars over 3 years old MUST have an MOT on a yearly basis. You can be fined up to £1,000 for driving without a valid one!
Once you pass your MOT, you will be given a certificate with your new expiry date. You can get your next MOT done within a month before your next expiry date. If you choose to have it done before then, you will be given a new expiry date from the day you had the test done.
How much does an MOT cost? The maximum a garage can charge for an MOT for a car is £54.85. However with a bit of shopping around you will be able to find one much cheaper! At Toomey Motor Group, all of our dealerships offer an MOT for £39. Read on to book your MOT!
How long does an MOT take? Depending on the condition and type of the vehicle, the average MOT takes around 45 minutes.
Where do I get an MOT? Many garages are qualified to undertake MOTs, and there are also dedicated MOT testing centres you can take your vehicle to.
What is checked during an MOT?
The MOT is focused on ensuring the safety of your vehicle for you and others on the road. This is different to a service, which focuses on the running health of your vehicle.
During an MOT, the vehicle tester will check these areas:
- Vehicle body and structure
- Seatbelts – ensuring they tense when pulled
- Steering and suspension
- Wiper blades
- All vehicle lights
- Bonnet catch
- Tyre tread depth and tyre condition
- Exhaust emissions
- Mirror condition
- And more!
How to pass your MOT
There are a number of things you can do to make sure your vehicle doesn’t fail for a preventable reason. For example, nearly a third of MOT failures are due to something relatively cheap to fix such as a dead headlamp or brake light.
Below are some things you can do from the comfort of your driveway, to improve your chances of passing:
- Clean your car - Ensure the vehicle is clear of clutter, and the registration plate is clearly visible.
- Check your tyres - Make sure they are inflated to the correct pressure, and that they have a minimum of 2mm of tread depth. An easy way to check this is to use a 20p coin. The outer ring of the coin is around 2mm. Putting it in the tyre tread can show you if they are safe.
- Seatbelts - Ensure your seatbelts are not frayed or damaged, and still tense when pulled on sharply. Any tear or fault in a seatbelt is an automatic fail!
- Horn - This one is the easiest one! Test that your horn is loud and clear.
- Check your vehicles’ MOT history – You can check the MOT history of your vehicle here. It will give you an indication of any repeated issues your car has had. This is especially important if you have purchased your vehicle second hand.
- Wipers – Check that your wipers are in good condition with no cracks in the rubber. These will be cheaper to replace yourself.
- Mirrors – Ensure your mirrors are clear of dirt and free of any cracks that can affect visibility. Be sure to also check that the electronic adjustment is also working (If your car has it).
- Lights – Ask someone to help check that all of the lights on your vehicle work Checking headlights, indicators and brake lights.
- Oil level – Using your dipstick under the bonnet, make sure your vehicle has the correct level of oil.
What if I fail my MOT?
Since May 2018 there are three categories of faults you could receive on your MOT.
Minor – These faults will not cause your vehicle to fail, however it is advised that you get these issues looked at as soon as you can.
Major – A major fault will cause an MOT fail. However, you are able to drive your vehicle to another garage to be repaired, if the MOT test centre are not able to carry out the work.
Dangerous – A dangerous fault means you will not be able to drive your vehicle. You must either get it repaired at the test centre, or towed to another garage who can carry out the work.
Once the issues on your vehicle have been fixed, you must take another MOT test. This test will be free if the repairs are carried out at the test centre and retested within ten days. An MOT re-test will also be free if you have had the work carried out at another garage, but return to the test centre by the end of the next working day.
Be aware! To be eligble for a free re-test the reason for failure must be one of the following -
Access panels, battery, bonnet, boot lid, brake pedal anti-slip, doors, drop-sides, electrical wiring, fuel filler cap, headlamp cleaning and levelling devices (that don't need a headlamp aim check), horn, lamps (excluding headlamp aim), loading door, main beam 'tell-tale', mirrors, rear reflectors, registration plates, seatbelts (but not anchorages), seats, sharp edges or projections, steering wheel, tailboard, tailgate, towbars, tyre pressure monitoring system, vehicle identification number (VIN), windscreen glass, wipers and washers, wheels and tyres (excluding motorbikes and sidecars).
In any other case, you must pay for a new MOT Test.
Book my MOT
Booking your MOT couldn't be simpler! Many testing centres offer an online booking system for example. Ringing local garages for their rates and availablity is also another good option.
At Toomey Motor Group, we offer MOTs for just £39. Click here to book your MOT.
(Images via freepik.com)