Your questions answered with our MOT FAQ
How vehicles are tested
MOT test stations have designated test bays where they conduct the test, using a range of equipment that meets the required specification for MOT testing. The standard test procedures are laid out in an inspection manual that the test station should make available on request.
If your vehicle has failed the test, you’ll be given a failure document with reference to this manual. You can watch the test from a designated viewing area but you are not allowed to interrupt the tester while he is working.
Your MOT test record
When your vehicle is tested at a testing station your test record will be entered on to a secure central database. You’ll then be given either an MOT (pass) certificate or notification of failure. The certificate is your receipt for the MOT test and shows the information that’s held on the database.
The MOT certificate only relates to the condition of testable items at the time of the test and should not be regarded as:
- evidence of their condition at any other time
- evidence of the general mechanical condition of the vehicle
- evidence that the vehicle fully complies with all aspects of the law on vehicle construction and use
The test certificate is no longer proof of an MOT and shouldn’t be relied on as such. Only the MOT computer database record can prove a vehicle has a valid MOT.
Your MOT certificate may also contain information on advisory defects found during the test which do not in the personal opinion of the tester warrant a notification of failure. These may include:
- testable items which only just pass and may need attention soon or items which are not within the scope of the MOT test and may need attention
- any peculiarity of the vehicle
When you can MOT your vehicle
You can renew your MOT up to one month before it expires without affecting your annual expiry date. The earliest date you can present your vehicle for test is printed on the pass certificate.
Why you need an MOT certificate
It is generally an offence to use on a public road, a vehicle of testable age that doesn’t have a current test certificate, except when:
- taking it to a test station for an MOT test booked in advancebringing it away from a test station after it has failed the MOT test, to a place of repair
- taking it to a place, by previous arrangement, where problems that caused the vehicle to fail its MOT test, can be repairedbringing it away from a place where the problems with the vehicle have been repaired
Even in the above circumstances you may still be prosecuted for driving an unroadworthy vehicle if it doesn’t comply with various regulations affecting its construction and use. Your car insurance may also be invalid.
The police can ask to see an MOT certificate for a vehicle that needs to have one. They also have access to the computerised records of MOT test results and can tell if the MOT certificate for your vehicle has expired.
Do I need an MOT test for my vehicle?
Everyone who uses a vehicle on the road is required to keep it in a roadworthy condition at all times. The road worthiness is checked in the interests of road safety and the environment by the test we call the MOT. The first test is required once a car is three years old. The MOT test looks at some important items on your car to see that they meet the key legal minimum requirements at the time of test. You should be aware that the MOT certificate is not a guarantee of the general mechanical condition of a vehicle.
How are vehicles tested?
The Alastair Reid Garages MOT test station has a designated test bays where the test is conducted, using a range of equipment which meets the required specification for MOT testing.The standard test procedures are laid out in an inspection manual which the test station will make available on request. If your vehicle has failed the test, you will be given a failure document with reference to this manual. All of Alastair Reid Garages MOT testers have been trained by Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) and their test standards are checked and audited regularly.
Who supervises the scheme?
The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) is the government agency responsible for supervising the MOT scheme. It does this by:
- Authorising MOT Test Stations & approving MOT testers
- Setting standards for testing and requirements for authorisation for the MOT test station and testers
- Training Authorised Examiners and MOT testers
- Visiting MOT test stations and carrying out checks to ensure testing standards & facilities are maintained.Giving advice/taking disciplinary action where tests are not being carried out to the required standards
- Dealing with appeals and complaints from MOT customers
What if I loose my certificate?
You may purchase a duplicate test certificate from any MOT test station. However, you must demonstrate your right to acquire the duplicate document. You must provide the test number from the original certificate or the unique number from the registration document (V5c), plus theVehicle Registration Mark. Alternatively you may present the vehicle to the original MOT test station to satisfy this proof.
The maximum fee for a duplicate certificate is £10 or half the test fee if this is less.
When does my car need an MOT?
It is your responsibility to ensure that your vehicle has a valid MOT at all times it is being used on public highways. Without an MOT certificate, you will be unable to renew your road tax and your car may not be insured.
To assist customers in remaining legal at all times Alastair Reid Garages offers a reminder system. You will receive a reminder of the need for an MOT test on your car around 2 weeks before the current certificate expires. You can have a vehicle tested up to 30 days before the expiry of the current MOT and have the new certificate post dated for 12 months from expiry of previous certificate i.e. up to 12 months plus 30 days on your new certificate.