When is my MOT due?

Part of the responsibility for owning and operating a motor vehicle in the United Kingdom is being keenly aware of the rules and regulations regarding a Ministry of Transport (MOT) examination. Our site is here to answer your question: “When is my MOT due?”.

The MOT test exists to ensure that vehicles on the road meet a certain legal level of safety and emission standards.

While the test itself is quite thorough and presents its own set of challenges for the vehicle owner, there is still a certain amount of confusion as to when an MOT test is actually required. This is partially due to the different rules regarding newly purchased vehicles and those that are more than three years old.

New cars – When is my MOT due?

An MOT test is required once your vehicle reaches 3 years old.

To find the exact date you should check your vehicle registration document, also known as a V5C.  For example if the date of first registration is shown as 1st March 2012 then your first MOT is due by the 1st March 2015 at the latest.  We would recommend scheduling your first MOT a short while before this deadline in case any repairs are required.

Taxis and passenger vehicles with more than 8 seats are required to have an MOT at 1 year old, please see the MOT Costs page for full details.

MOT tests can only be carried out at approved test centres.  These garages must display the well known blue MOT sign with 3 white triangles.  This shows they have been approved by the Department of Transport to carry out MOT tests.  There are over 19000 testing stations in the UK and you can use our MOT Station Finder to locate your nearest approved garage.

Cars over 3 years old - When is my MOT due?

When is my MOT due?As older cars have a higher tendency to develop safety problems, an MOT test must be performed every year for vehicles older than three years. The exact deadline by which your MOT should be renewed is listed on your current VT20 MOT Certficate.

However, there is a bit of flexibility involved here, as owners can choose to have the test performed as early as a month before the current expiration date.  The earliest date you can have an MOT test is printed on your current VT20 certificate.

You can now find out when your MOT will expire using the MOT Check.  This requires only the registration number and make of the vehicle.

Crucially, there are no reminders sent from the Government so it is your responsibility to ensure you renew your MOT on time.  If your MOT has expired you may not legally drive your vehicle on the road and you may be prosecuted if caught. The only time a driver can legally operate a vehicle whose MOT certification has expired is when driving to and from an inspection station to perform a pre-booked test.

It is therefore wise to keep your MOT certificate handy so you know when it is time to schedule a new test.  Use our Station Finder to locate your nearest test centre.

Can I run an MOT check using just my number plate?

Yes! The DVLA have launched a new service that enables you to check when your MOT runs out, using only your registration number. The previous service required you to find your V5 document or your current MOT certificate however those documents are easily misplaced. Click here to start your MOT check

Text reminders

A new service offered by the government is a text reminder service. By signing up for this service you can receive reminders by text telling you when your MOT is due for renewal. The service is chargeable however and if you fail to receive the text you cannot use this as a valid excuse for not having an MOT.

Click here if you wish to find out more information about this service.

I’ve lost my MOT certificate – When is my MOT due?

Losing an MOT certificate can be a common and frustrating problem, but it is possible to obtain a replacement copy. You can order a duplicate copy from any MOT testing centre. You will need to provide the centre with the vehicle registration number and either the original MOT test number (if at-hand) or the V5C document reference number.

The current maximum fee for a replacement certificate is £10.

If you have lost your certificate it is still possible to find out when your MOT is due.  The first option would be to get in contact with the garage where the MOT was last carried out if you know where this was done.

You can find out when your MOT will expire using the MOT Check.  This check requires only the registration number and make of the vehicle concerned.

Vehicles Exempt From MOT Examinations

Although an MOT certificate is necessary for most older vehicles, there are some instances where a vehicle may not be subject to MOT regulations. These are a few examples to note:

  • Most vehicles under 3 years old
  • Tractors
  • Electrically powered goods vehicles
  • Vehicles manufactured before 1960
  • Public service vehicles weighing more than 3,500 kilos – These vehicles need a form known as the V112/G instead of an MOT certificate.

The Government form V112 provides a full list of currently exempt vehicles and is available for download here. You must complete this form to enable you to tax your MOT exempt vehicle.

How much does an MOT cost?

Here is a simple breakdown of MOT inspection costs. Please note that these are the maximum fees charged at a test centre and are not subject to VAT.

  • Motorbike: £29.65
  • Motorbike with Sidecar: £37.80
  • Cars (up to 8 passengers): £54.85
  • Caravans: £54.85
  • Private Hire and Public Service Vehicles: £54.85

If your vehicle fails its MOT it will need to be repaired and retested.  A retest fee may apply.

Click here for more information on retest fees and a full breakdown of current MOT charges.

MOT ChecklistMOT Checklist

We have put together a free pre-MOT checklist that you can use before booking an MOT.  Our guide lists several easy checks you can perform yourself and can help diagnose faults before incurring retest fees and other bills.

Click here to access the MOT Checklist

In this article we have covered the basic facts regarding the time concerns and fees associated with MOT certification. As with any important matter, it is always essential to keep all of the documentation close at-hand. This makes it much easier to keep track of when a vehicle test is due; for both new and older vehicles.

As MOT certification is absolutely essential to legally operate most motor vehicles in the United Kingdom, these simple points can help save a great deal of time and potentially hefty bills. Most importantly, the MOT provides re-assurance for both you and other road users that vehicles are inspected for safety annually.