The MOT Test

So, you have just got your first car and are now looking into the MOT test.

In this blog post, we will go over a few topics to help you understand what an MOT test is, why you need to have one and more. In addition, there will be some helpful links.

Let’s start with an education firstly.

The MOT abbreviation stands for Ministry of Transport, who were the government body responsible for the roads. The test was first introduced in Great Britain in 1960. This new test at the time was mandatory for vehicles that were at least ten years old. However, it didn’t take long for the test age to be reduced to three years as it was in April 1967. The test was initially only for braking, steering and lighting. Over the years more items were added to the checklist. Checks such as a tyre check in 1968, and the exhaust emissions checks for petrol engine vehicles in 1991. As modern cars become more sophisticated, the list will become longer. There is already a discussion about ADAS systems becoming part of the test. You can read more about ADAS here. ADAS is part of all new cars and is here to stay.

The MOT test is compulsory. It’s designed to ensure that cars, other light vehicles (including some light goods vehicles), private buses and motor bicycles over a certain age undergo a list of road safety and environmental checks.

If you don’t book your car in for it’s MOT test, then you are breaking the law. The only time that you can drive your car after the MOT testing deadline, is when it is traveling to the MOT station.


Quick Tip

Always call the MOT station and book the vehicle in whenever the deadline has expired. Otherwise you’ll be breaking the law.

Dentzap MOT booking


The importance of an MOT test

The MOT test ensures that all vehicles are roadworthy. By roadworthy I mean safe for other road users, safe for pedestrians, and safe for the environment. If there was no MOT testing, we would have a lot of unsafe vehicles on the road. Afterall, you don’t want to be driving on the road when you can’t see other cars because of failed headlamps. You also don’t want to inhale pollution from poorly maintained vehicles.

You can read more on the importance of an MOT here.

Who can conduct and MOT test?

All MOT testing must be conducted within authorised vehicle testing stations (VTSs) by nominated testers (NTs) approved to test the class of a vehicle by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

There will be garages who offer an MOT check but this doesn’t mean that they can undertake the test. They will go over all areas of the vehicle to look for any obvious areas that need to be rectified before the MOT test. This doesn’t guarantee that your car will pass the test though. You need to be a skilled mechanic with over 4 years of full time employment servicing and repairing the types of vehicles you’re going to test before you can go through the process of becoming an MOT tester. The criteria is strict.

The MOT test

Depending on the type of vehicle you have will determine the cost of it’s MOT test. Here is the link to the government website regarding costs on all types of vehicles. Currently the cost for cars are £54.85. As of this writing, our test fees are £45.

It won’t take long for the tester to complete the inspection, usually less than an hour. Usually older cars take longer because of the current condition compared to a car undergoing it’s first MOT test.

Some of the general areas inspected by the MOT tester include tyres, lights, windscreen, wipers, registration plates, mirrors, braking systems, steering, suspension, emissions and more.

The full checklist can be found here.

Example of VT20 MOT pass


After the MOT test

Once the test is completed, you will be issued with a VT20 or VT30 document.

Simply put, a VT20 allows you to continue driving the car. If the car has failed the MOT test, you will receive a VT30 failure document.

The MOT tester will explain to you why the vehicle failed. He may also tell you what you must do in order to fix the issue(s). The car can undergo a retest once fixed. If you leave the car with the test centre, you only need a partial retest. These re-tests will incur no additional fee if completed within 10 working days. However, if you take the car away for repairs and bring it back within 10 working days, you may be charged a partial retest fee.

More information can be found here.

What does ‘advisory’ mean?

This means that if the tester thinks they may need attention soon, they highlight this for your attention. If the tester doesn’t think this item will pass in 12 months time, he will note this as an ‘advisory’.

Quick Tip

Remember that it is your responsibility to book your MOT test each year. The police cameras can spot multiple registration plates each second. If you are driving a car with no MOT, then it could land you a fine and void your insurance. Failure to have your car go through an MOT test is serious.

Tips to pass the MOT test

Tips to help you pass your MOT test

Recently, we wrote a blog on some tips and advice to help your car pass it’s MOT test. There are a number of helpful tips for different areas of the vehicle. These are all pretty straightforward areas to look at yourself.

You can read more on this blog here.

If you are looking for advice or a pre-MOT check, then contact us and we will be happy to help. You can find us in Cambuslang, Glasgow. Not far from the M74.

We also offer a range of different services to help you pass your MOT test which you can find here. Services such as mechanical, body repairs and tyre replacement. If we don’t provide a particular service, then usually we know who will.

Hopefully you are now up to speed on a little history of MOT testing and have found some helpful tips to pass your test when the time comes.



Looking for high quality car repairs near you? Or maybe it’s time for your MOT test? We offer numerous services to keep your car looking great and running smoothly from our headquarters in Cambuslang, Glasgow.

Contact us today to find out what we can do for you and keep up to date with all things Dentzap on our socials. Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn YouTube

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