What You Need To Know About Your Car MOT

When my partner and I were buying our car it became obvious that neither of us are car people. I don’t understand the technical aspects or styles, I’m not even too bothered how it drives. What is important for me in our family car is reliability and safety and a big part of that is making sure the car has it’s MOT on time. But what is an MOT? Why do you need one? And what happens during it?

A mechanic doing things to a car during it's MOT
Booking your cars MOT is really important

What is the MOT Test?

Apparently standing for "Ministry of Transport", the MOT test checks that vehicles are safe for the road and meet environmental standards. Car MOTs take about 45 to 60 minutes to complete and once passed they are valid for a year. You can be fined up to £1000 for driving a car with out a valid MOT certificate and it would make your car insurance invalid too.

What Do They Check During An MOT? 

During the MOT test the important parts of the car are checked to make sure they meet legal standards. While the test doesn’t cover the condition of the engine, clutch or gearbox it is pretty comprehensive. We usually book our car in for a service at the same time to make sure that the car is in it's best condition and they can do any of the adjustments that are needed.

The MOT checks the car to make sure there isn’t too much damage or excessive corrosion.  Items checked include: seat belts, doors, mirrors, breaks, tyres, registration plates, lights and wipers.

If anything is of concern they will categorise the defects as dangerous, major or minor. You may also be advised about items you need to monitor, these are known as advisories. Dangerous or major defects will mean the car will fail it’s MOT.

If any dangerous defects are identified you shouldn't drive the car until it’s repaired or you can be fined up to £2500, be banned from driving or get 3 penalty points on your license. If there are major defects identified you may still be able to drive your car if you have time left on your previous MOT certificate, but they should be repaired as soon as possible. 

How often should your car have an MOT? 

If you have a brand new car it doesn’t need to get an MOT until the 3rd anniversary of the date it was registered. From that point on cars need to have an MOT every year. If you don’t know when your MOT is due you can easily check.  

How to Book An MOT

You can have an MOT up to a month (minus a day) before the old one runs out and keep the same renewal date so you don't have to leave it until the last minute. You must use an approved test centre to get your MOT, they should display a blue sign with 3 white triangles. Lots of places now allow you to book your test date online. Schedule your MOT in Rainham at Elite Direct and avail their economical prices today!

How To Help Ensure You Car Passes it's MOT

It is a good idea to regularly check over your car to make sure everything is working ok rather than just waiting for your MOT. This helps keep your car safe for your family and will avoid some more expensive repairs. Regularly check your lights are all working, keep an eye out for lights on the dashboard (and take action), make sure the wiper blades are working properly, keep your tyres suitably inflated, check your oil and water levels and clean the car regularly (including the number plate).  It can be easy to change some of the bulbs or windscreen wipers yourself, but if you suspect that the breaks or tyres need replacing it is worth mentioning when you book your test as they might be able to book that work in first.

Just like having car insurance having an annual MOT test is one of the essential parts of car ownership so put the date in your diary now and make sure you book it in plenty of time.

This is a collaborative post

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