An MOT test is an annual inspection that all vehicles in the UK must undergo to ensure that they are safe, roadworthy, and meet the minimum legal requirements to drive on UK roads.
Driving without MOT
It’s illegal to drive without an MOT and if caught, you could face fines of up to £2,500 if driving a car or receive an unlimited fine if driving a van.
What is checked on an MOT for cars?
The MOT test for cars is a comprehensive inspection of the vehicle's safety and roadworthiness.
Here is a list of the components that are checked and the different faults an MOT tester could find. Remember, minor faults won’t cause an MOT failure:
What's checked on an MOT for motorcycles
A motorcycle MOT has additional checks specifically for its components but follows the same test structure as an MOT for cars. Here is a list of the most important components that are checked during an MOT test for motorcycles:
What counts as a fail on MOT?
If the car passes the MOT test, an MOT pass certificate will be issued that will be valid for 12 months. If the car fails the MOT test, a list of repairs will be provided before it can be retested.
There are three different types of MOT faults:
Most common MOT fail reasons
The 11 most common reasons you can fail an MOT are:
If the tester identifies any dangerous or major faults while testing the different components during the MOT test, it will result in an MOT failure and repairs will need to be done before the vehicle can be driven.
Book an MOT from 6000+ vetted garages
9 MOT pre-checks
Failing an MOT test can be a costly and time-consuming experience.
Here are nine pre-checks you can do to minimise the risk of an MOT fail:
View a complete MOT checklist and work through these pre-checks before your MOT test
Remember, these pre-checks are not a substitute for a professional MOT test. Therefore, it is still crucial to have your vehicle inspected by a professional mechanic
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Caura notifications help keep you updated on any upcoming renewal or expiry dates for your vehicle, as well as important transaction details. If you’re an AutoPay user, you’ll need to have them on so we can contact you in case of failed payment or changes to your AutoPay status.
If you turned off push notifications, you can enable again by going to Settings on your device and scrolling down to Apps and selecting Caura. From there, simply switch on ‘Allow Notifications’ from within the Permissions section.
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Caura helps keep you updated on upcoming renewal or expiry dates for you vehicle, including tax, MOT and insurance. You’ll need to manually add your insurance renewal date into the app, MOT and tax reminders will be generated automatically.
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The MOT test is a yearly inspection of vehicle safety to make sure it is safe to drive on public roads, and meets government set environmental standards.
If your vehicle doesn't have a valid MOT, you won't be able to renew your road tax and it will also invalidate your insurance
MOT stands for Ministry of Transport - the department originally responsible for ensuring vehicle roadworthiness. The test is now operated by the Department of Transport, who are responsible for the development and regulation of transport policy in the UK, and ensuring the safety and security of the UK’s transport networks
VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) was an executive agency that was responsible for enforcing the regulation of vehicles and operators. It merged with the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) in 2014 to form the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA)
The test takes around 30 minutes for vehicles between 3 to 5 years old, and around 45 minutes for vehicles older than 5 years
Most vehicles less than three years old don’t need an MOT. You also don’t need an MOT if you’re driving a historic vehicle that was registered more than 40 years ago. You can find a list of MOT exempt vehicles here. Remember – if you think your vehicle is MOT exempt, you will need to apply for exemption via the government website
Yes. All vehicles including motorcycles can book an MOT via Caura. We also offer Class 7 MOTs – an MOT test specifically for commercial vehicles. Simply download the app if you don’t have it already, enter your vehicle registration number and tap on ‘Book Garage’ to book
You can book an MOT with local, trusted mechanics in Caura. Simply enter your reg plate and postcode in-app to book a garage near you
Check your MOT due date in Caura by entering your vehicle registration number. If your MOT is due in 30 days or less, you’ll see a reminder on the home screen. Then, simply press ‘Book Garage’ to find and book with a garage near you
Yes, depending on the garage’s availability. Simply select all your available dates in Caura and we’ll let you know if the earliest slots you can book
No, driving without an MOT is illegal. If caught, you could be fined up to £2,500 if you’re driving a car or get handed an unlimited fine if you’re driving a van
Your vehicle’s MOT history can be found in your vehicle logbook. If you don’t have access to this, you can check your MOT history via the government website. Very soon, you’ll also be able to see your MOT history in the Caura app so keep your eyes peeled
You can book an MOT two months before its expiry date. However, the earliest date for your test can only be up to a month before its expiry date. For example, if your MOT runs out on 23rd May 2023, you can book an MOT from the 24th of March, however your earliest test date you can book will be the 24th of April
Remember, if you book an MOT a month in advance, you will keep the same renewal date. Don’t wait till the last minute, book as soon as possible
Easiest way to book an MOT is in the Caura app. All you need to do is enter your vehicle registration number into the app and book with a local mechanic Remember, if you book an MOT a month in advance, you will keep the same renewal date. Don’t wait till the last minute, book as soon as possible at vetted garages near you
Yes, we offer MOTs for all vehicles including Class 7 vehicles (commercial vehicles), cars and motorcycles
An MOT is just an inspection of your vehicle whereas a car service could also include repairs and maintenance work to get your car into the best possible shape.
You can book a car service in the Caura app
If you leave your car at the same garage and repairs are done within 10 working days, the garage should conduct a free partial retest. You may also get a free partial retest if you take your car to a different garage for repairs and bring it back the next working day.
If you take your car away for repairs and bring it back within 10 working days, the garage can choose to charge you a small MOT fee for the retest.
For any MOT retests done at a different garage or after 10 working days from the original test date, you will need to book a complete MOT again and pay the full fee. Find out more about MOT retests here
You don’t need to take any documents to your MOT test. Garages will be able to access all the information they need via the DVLA
If you’ve passed your MOT, you can continue to drive the vehicle as normal
If you’ve failed your MOT, the tester will list all the faults found with the vehicle on the MOT certificate. You will need to get all faults repaired and pass an MOT retest before you can continue driving your vehicle
No. You will need to have a valid MOT before taxing your vehicle
If your car tax has expired and you haven’t booked an MOT yet, remember to keep it off public roads and in a private garage to avoid a hefty £1,000 fine
Once you’ve booked your MOT, you can also renew your car tax in the Caura app in less than 20 seconds – all you need is your V11 or V5C details
Your MOT certificate will be valid for a year from the date your vehicle passed the MOT test. Find out more about your MOT certificate here
Yes. If having a valid MOT is part of your policy (which is usually the case), then your insurance will be invalidated, and you won’t be able to make a claim
The condition of the engine, clutch and gearbox is not checked during an MOT
No. As soon as your MOT has expired, it becomes illegal to drive your car on the road. The only exception is if you’re driving your vehicle to the MOT test, so long as the test has been booked and you can show proof of appointment
The fine for driving without an MOT is £1,000. However, you can be fined up to £2,500 for cars or be given an unlimited fine for vans if you’re caught driving without an MOT and the vehicle is deemed as dangerous