Key facts about the MOT test
Once a car is three years old (four years in Northern Ireland) it must be tested each year to check it meets road safety and environmental standards.
This Ministry of Transport test is commonly known as an ‘MOT’.
MOT tests are carried out at around 21,000 authorised test centres around the country, all of which display an official blue sign featuring three white triangles.
An MOT involves dozens of checks on your car, ranging from the brakes and fuel system to lights, mirrors, seatbelts, windscreen wipers and exhaust system.
It doesn’t cover the condition of the engine, clutch and gearbox.
How long does an MOT take?
An average MOT test takes between 45 and 60 minutes, but there are a couple of other things to take into consideration.
First, if your vehicle fails the test and repairs need to be made this will take longer.
A test centre is not allowed to let you drive away a car that has failed an MOT until the problems are fixed, unless your existing MOT certificate is still valid, or you’re taking the car to have the faults fixed.
Second, the test might take an hour or less, but, even if there aren’t any repairs, this does not mean your vehicle will only have to be at the garage for sixty minutes.
Test centres can require you to drop your vehicle off first thing in the morning and collect it when ready.
This means you should be prepared to be without your vehicle for the day.