When Is My MOT Due? Here's How To Check

Written by Fraser Stewart
Reading time 4 minutes
When Is My MOT Due? Here's How To Check image

Vehicles that are over three years old are required by law to undergo an MOT test to check its roadworthiness. This guide is provide you with all of the important information you need to know about an MOT. 

If you are looking to check your MOT due date, you can use the GOV.UK tool below.

Check the MOT status of a vehicle here

What is an MOT?

An MOT is a mandatory annual test for vehicles in the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands. Its primary purpose is to ensure that vehicles meet specific safety and environmental standards. 

What does MOT stand for?

MOT stands for Ministry of Transport, the department that was responsible for checking whether a vehicle was roadworthy or not when it was introduced in 1960. Minister of Transport, Ernest Marples, introduced this as part of the 1960 Road Traffic Act. At its inception, the test was mandatory for all vehicles over ten years old, and required an annual test of a vehicle's brakes, lights and steering.

Here are some key points about the MOT:

Purpose The MOT test checks that vehicles are roadworthy and meet UK safety and environmental standards.
Vehicles that Require an MOT Most vehicles over three years old require an MOT test every year. This includes cars, motorcycles, vans, and other types of vehicles.
Test Components The MOT test checks various vehicle components, including brakes, lights, tires, seat belts, exhaust emissions, and more.
Certificate If a vehicle passes the MOT test, it receives an MOT certificate, which is valid for one year. This certificate is proof that the vehicle met the required standards at the time of the test.
Failing the MOT If a vehicle fails the MOT test, it must be repaired to meet the required standards before it can be driven on public roads. The owner will receive a list of the faults that need to be addressed.
Exemptions Some vehicles, such as historic (classic) vehicles over 40 years old, may be exempt from needing an MOT, but there are specific criteria they must meet.
Legal Requirement Driving a vehicle without a valid MOT certificate can result in a fine, and it might also affect the validity of your insurance.

It's essential for vehicle owners in the regions where the MOT is required to be aware of their vehicle's MOT expiry date and to book a test before this date to ensure continuous legality on the road.

Where can I find my MOT due date?

You can either:

  1. Check your previous MOT certification
  2. Use GOV.UK's tool

If you are using the online tool, you will need to provide the registration number and confirm the search has returned the correct make and colour. It is a really quick process, and it will provide the following information:

  1. Car tax status and tax due date
  2. MOT status and expiry date
  3. Vehicle make
  4. Date of first registration
  5. Year of manufacture
  6. Cylinder capacity
  7. CO₂ emissions
  8. Fuel type 
  9. Euro status
  10. Real Driving Emissions (RDE)
  11. Export marker
  12. Vehicle status
  13. Vehicle colour
  14. Vehicle type approval
  15. Wheelplan
  16. Revenue weight
  17. Date of last V5C (logbook) issued

You can also check the tax rates for the vehicle with the latest 11 digit reference number from the V5C logbook within the search, or click here.

How much does an MOT cost?

MOT test stations have a maximum limit they can charge per type of vehicle. 

The maximum for a car is £54.85, and for a standard motorcycle is £29.65.

The table below summarises the maximum MOT fees per vehicle type.

Source: GOV.UK

Vehicle Class Vehicle Age When First MOT Required Maximum Fee (Per MOT)
Motorcycle (engine size up to 200cc) 1 3 £29.65
Motorcycle with sidecar (engine size up to 200cc) 1 3 £37.80
Motorcycle (engine size over 200cc) 2 3 £29.65
Motorcycle with sidecar (engine size over 200cc) 2 3 £37.80
3-wheeled vehicles (up to 450kg unladen weight) 3 3 £37.80
3-wheeled vehicles (over 450kg unladen weight) 4 3 £54.85
Cars (up to 8 passenger seats) 4 3 £54.85
Motor caravans 4 3 £54.85
Quads (max unladen weight 400kg - for goods vehicles 550kg and max net power of 15kw) 4 3 £54.85
Dual purpose vehicles 4 3 £54.85
Private hire and public service vehicles (up to 8 seats) 4 3 £54.85
Ambulances and taxis 4 1 £54.85
Private passenger vehicles and ambulances (9 to 12 passenger seats) 4 1 £57.30
Goods vehicles (up to 3,000kg design gross weight) 4 3 £54.85
Class 4 vehicles (9 to 12 passenger seats) with a seat belt installation check 4a n/a £64
Private passenger vehicles and ambulances (13 to 16 passenger seats) 5 1 £59.55
Private passenger vehicles and ambulances (more than 16 passenger seats) 5 1 £80.65
Playbuses 5 1 £80.65
Class 5 vehicles (13 to 16 passenger seats) with a seatbelt installation check 5a n/a £80.50
Class 5 vehicles (more than 16 passenger seats) with a seatbelt installation check 5a n/a £124.50
Goods vehicles (over 3,000kg up to 3,500kg design gross weight) 7 3 £58.60

What happens if my vehicle passes the MOT?

For any vehicles that pass an MOT:

1. You'll receive an MOT certificate from the test centre. Examples of MOT certificates can be found here.

2. The test will be recorded in the MOT database.

Note: A vehicle can pass the MOT with 'minor' or 'advisory' problems. It is important to monitor these and fix them in the future, if required.

What happens if my vehicle fails the MOT?

If a vehicle has an 'dangerous' or 'major' problems, it will fail the MOT. At this point:

1. You'll receive 'Refusal of MOT' certificate from the test centre. Examples of certificates can be found here.

2. The test will be recorded in the MOT database.

You are able to drive your car after a failed MOT test on the following conditions:

The vehicle has an MOT certificate that is still valid and there are no 'dangerous' problems listed on the MOT

Can I drive without an MOT?

No, if your vehicle does not have a valid MOT certificate, you cannot drive it. The only exception to this is if you have booked an MOT test and you are driving it to undergo the test.

What are the reprecussions for driving without a MOT certificate?

If you are driving a vehicle that failed an MOT because of a 'dangerous' problem, you could:

  1. Be fined £2,500
  2. Receive a driving ban
  3. Get 3 penalty points

If you are caught driving with an expired or invalid MOT certificate, you could:

  1. Be fined up to £1,000.

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