Any car registered for use on the road in the EC must pass some kind of mechanical and emissions test, known in the UK as the ‘MOT’, after the old Ministry of Transport. In the UK cars must be Tested at the end of their third year (if imported, measured from date of manufacture), and yearly after that, there are different rules if you use the vehicle as a taxi.

There are different rules if you use the vehicle as a taxi. The MOT scheme is primarily a road safety measure to ensure that cars, other light vehicles, private buses and motorcycles over 3-years old are checked at least once a year to see that they comply with key roadworthiness and environmental requirements.

You can take your car for an MOT up to a month early and preserve the same renewal date but what happens if the car fails the test? Your vehicle still has a current MOT as the expiry date of the old MOT still stands so if you take your car away you will not be committing the specific offence of driving a vehicle without a valid MOT. However it is an offence to drive a vehicle with a known defect and to drive an unroadworthy vehicle so you can’t simply ignore the test result and continue to drive the car normally until the old MOT expires. In the event of an accident you may find your insurance invalidated. You can be fined up to £2500, be banned from driving and get three penalty points for driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition.

The MOT test is conducted in accordance to the criteria set out in the latest edition of the MOT inspection manual for class 3, 4, 5 and 7 vehicles and if the tested vehicle meets the standards required it will be issued a VT20 Pass Certificate. Should it fail to meet all the requirements it will receive a VT30 Refusal of an MOT Certificate, in both cases any advisory information will be listed as well – potential problems not currently severe enough to result in a test failure or general vehicle faults that may arise when the vehicle is operated under normal conditions.

The purpose of the MOT test is to ensure the vehicle meets the minimum safety level required by law, It is not a substitute for proper and regular servicing and simply passing the MOT test does not mean that your vehicle will remain safe for the following 12 months. We offer discounts for MOT and servicing combined call us for further information. Please book early to avoid disappointment – generally one week in advance will guarantee your preferred time and day.

For further information on the MOT test or to find out if your vehicle currently has a valid MOT check the DVSA web site at: You will need to know the vehicle registration number and the MOT test number from the most recent ‘certificate’ or test refusal certificate. If you don’t have these you can use the document reference number from the vehicle registration document (V5C). The status check will confirm the date and mileage of the last test and the expiry date, details of previous MOT tests going back to 2005 are also available here.

Kissane and Jeffries are a servicing and MOT garage based in Dudley West Midlands. We also cover Wolverhampton, Stourbridge, Oldbury, Halesowen, Tipton, Cradley Heath, Blackheath, Brierley Hill, Netherton, Warley, Quinton and the surrounding areas.