MOT’s and MOT Advisories FAQ’s discussed by AP Autocare Bristol
As a vehicle owner, it is your legal responsibility to ensure your car is MOT’d every 12 months to ensure your vehicle is safe and legal to drive.
A car needs to have its first MOT when it is 3 years old from the date it was first registered and then be tested every year after that. There are some passenger-carrying vehicles; taxis and private passenger vehicles with nine or more seats that should be tested when they are a year old so you always need to check this.
Driving without an MOT is a criminal offence, unless you are driving to a pre-booked MOT test at an approved centre, or, if you are driving to an appointment at a garage to have any work done after it has failed its MOT test.
If your car doesn’t have a valid MOT then this can invalidate your insurance and it is illegal under Section 47 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 to drive without one. If you drive without a valid MOT you run the risk of up to a £1,000 fine and penalty points on your licence.
If you have a road traffic accident whilst driving without an up-to-date MOT certificate you will be liable to cover all the costs of the accident which will be much more than the cost of an MOT. If you are convicted of driving without a valid MOT certificate, your insurance premiums are likely go up at your renewal due to the points you will have on your licence.
What is an MOT?
MOT stands for Ministry of Transport which is now the Department of Transport. Only an approved MOT test centre displaying the official MOT logo (a blue sign with three connecting white triangles in the centre) can give you a valid MOT Certificate.
When your vehicle passes its MOT you receive an MOT certificate which lasts for 12 months. The result of your vehicles MOT is recorded on the central MOT database as either passing or failing, detailing the work that needs to be carried out to make it roadworthy or any advisories. To gain a valid MOT certificate for your vehicle you need to have the repairs completed to bring it up to MOT standards and it will be retested before the certificate for the next 12 months is issued.
If a vehicle is MOT’d before the expiry date of the last MOT then it is legal to drive until the MOT expiry date without the repairs being made. It is, however, a criminal offence to drive an un roadworthy vehicle whether you have an MOT so if your vehicle fails with a ‘dangerous’ fail point then it should not be driven until the repairs have been made. When the repairs have been completed, the vehicle will be retested and your MOT will be dated 12 months from its original MOT expiry date (if retested before this expiry date).
What do the MOT outcomes mean?
Dangerous – Your vehicle has a dangerous fault. The vehicle cannot be driven until the fault has been repaired. You will be given a ‘refusal’ of an MOT certificate, called a VT30 form
Major – Your vehicle has a major fail. The repair needs to be completed as soon as possible and prior to its MOT expiry date
Pass – Your vehicle passes and meets the legal roadworthy standard
Your vehicle has passed its MOT but there is a minor issue that you need to keep an eye on and repair if it gets worse. Cars with minor defects will be allowed to pass and the faults will be recorded as advisories so you can get them repaired when you need to.
MOT Minor Faults
Your vehicle has passed the MOT; however, it has an issue that needs to be corrected as soon as possible as if you don’t get it fixed it could get much worse and become dangerous.
If you have your vehicle repaired after an MOT failure and it is retested, you should be able to get a partial retest if it is less than ten working days after its initial test and this will be cheaper than paying for a full MOT re-test. If your vehicle has been repaired by the MOT Test Centre garage then the retest often doesn’t cost you anything at all.
If you take your vehicle away from the original MOT Test Centre for repairs then you should return it to the same MOT test centre for the retest.
What happens if my car fails its MOT?
If your car fails its MOT the test centre will give you an MOT summary document which tells you the areas it has passed and the areas it has failed. Professional garages will be able to provide you with a quote for the work that is needed and fix the failed areas for you. If you decide to take it somewhere else to rectify the issues then you can arrange a date to bring your car back to be retested before its MOT expiry date.
If there are any major fails then these have to be fixed before you drive the car again as they show your car is not roadworthy. Driving a car which is deemed to have dangerous faults is a risk to you, your passengers and other drivers.
If your current MOT certificate is still valid as you have taken it in to be tested before its expiry date and there are no dangerous or major fails listed then you can take your car somewhere else to be fixed and bring it back again before the MOT expiry date to have it retested.
The fail is recorded in the national MOT database and you will receive a refusal MOT test certificate.
MOT Advisory Notes
Advisory notes are provided as part of the outcome of an MOT from your MOT test centre. They give you notice of things that will need fixing on your car at some point, but are not reasons to fail its test. Advisory notes are given at the discretion of the tester and will vary in importance dependent on what they are for.
Degree of Wear Advisories
If an item has only just passed the MOT standard then it will be given as a Wear and Tear advisory. It can apply to; tyre wear, disc pad thickness, wear in steering and suspension joints and more. Your MOT test centre will give you an estimation and steer regarding; how long it might be before it deteriorates excessively. Always remember it is your responsibility to check your vehicle and have any items repaired when they are needed.
Your MOT Test Centre can advise you of extensive surface corrosion, a repair which has been coated in underseal, or some other caveat providing evidence of the situation on the day your car is MOT’d for you to refer to in the future. It is difficult to assess corrosion so it is your responsibility as the owner of your vehicle to ensure your car is roadworthy at all times.
Inspection Difficulties Advisories
Your MOT Test Centre may advise you of inspection difficulties and these will be rescored on the MOT database. These could include plastic covers or modernisation to a vehicle concealing testable items. If it is impossible to test an item then this will be noted as a fail but, if it has made it difficult to test then this will be given as an advisory. It is your responsibility as a vehicle owner to ensure an MOT Test Centre is able to give your car a full MOT test.
Non-Testable Items Advisories
If your vehicle has been MOT’d and the Test Centre has noticed there may be a problem with a non-testable item then they will advise you of this. As an example, this could be a clutch or gearbox problem and this will give you a heads up of something you should get checked.
These are non-testable items and can include vehicle dents or surface rust as an advisory, again this gives you a heads up of a situation that you may want to consider repairing.
Is there a 14-day grace period after an MOT Expiry?
You do not get a 14-day grace period after an MOT expiry date so it is always best to book your car in for its MOT before the expiry date. MOT test regulations allow the provision for early testing of up to a calendar month minus a day to ease the renewal process and ensure you can get any issues highlighted repaired and retested. If you take your car to be MOT’s before its renewal date and it passes your new MOT will be dated for 12 months from its expiry date, not the MOT test date.
If your car doesn’t have a valid and current MOT certificate, legally you can only drive it to the MOT test centre for it to be tested and you should always check with your insurer if you are insured for this journey.
MOT Certificate Replacements
If you have lost your MOT certificate or it is damaged you can get a replacement at any MOT test centre and you will be charged a minimum fee of £10, however, this varies by Test Centre garage. You will need the vehicle registration number, as well as the original MOT test number or the V5C document reference number.
Can the police tell if you have no MOT?
ANPR – Automatic Number Plate Recognition enables the police to tell if a vehicle has a valid MOT certificate as well as insurance and tax.
Can you park a car on the road without a valid MOT Certificate?
If your car does not have an MOT then it shouldn’t be parked on a public highway as it can result in you being fined and your car being seized.
Can you drive without an MOT if your MOT test is booked?
You are only able to drive your car to a booked MOT test if its MOT has expired. If you are stopped by the police on the way to the test then you have to be able to prove that you have an MOT test booked. If your vehicle is deemed ‘un-roadworthy’ or it has been tested and failed with a ‘dangerous fail’ the above doesn’t apply and you cannot drive it.
Can I drive my car if its failed its MOT?
It is illegal to drive with an invalid MOT certificate. If your car has failed and the date on your certificate has passed, you can only drive your car to be repaired or to a pre-arranged MOT appointment, and not if it has been tested and failed with a ‘dangerous fail’.
What is the earliest you can get your car MOT’d?
MOT’s are valid for one year and you can get an MOT up to one calendar month (minus a day) before it runs out and keeps the same renewal date. As an example; if your MOT runs out on 5th August, the earliest you can get an MOT to keep the same renewal date and for your car to remain legally road safe is 6th July the following year.
What is included in an MOT?
The important working parts of your vehicle are checked to make sure they meet the legal standard and to ensure your car is safe and roadworthy. In summary, these checks include; brakes, fuel system, lights, mirrors, seatbelts, windscreen wipers and exhaust system. It doesn’t cover the condition of the engine, clutch and gearbox.
About AP Autocare
We have been in operation for over 40 years and are one of the most reputable and independent repair, service and MOT Centres in Bristol.
We are within walking distance from Bristol City Centre and Temple Meads Train Station and are ideal for your MOT, Service or Repair if you work in the city centre or surrounding areas.
We offer a courtesy car service if you need to use your car whilst it is booked in with us, or we can arrange a lift to your work, home or collection and delivery to ensure that being without a car doesn’t inconvenience for you.
The services we offer are friendly, professional and at competitive rates, without the costs associated with main dealer garages. We are a fully qualified and authorised MOT Test Centre and are always honest about the work that needs doing on your car as we want you to come back to us again and again.
We offer services for all vehicles of any age and size from small cars to light commercial vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes (Class 7).
Our Services include:
- Bodywork & Paint Repairs
- Engine Diagnostics and Repair
- Annual and Interim Services
- Air Conditioning
- Tyres & Exhausts
- Suspension & Steering
- Battery Testing & Replacement
- Wheel Alignment
- Tyre Replacement
We are a specialist and recognised garage for many of the main car manufacturers including; BMW, Citroen, Peugeot, Mini, Porsche, Audi, VW, Seat, Skoda and Land Rover and we have dealer level diagnostic equipment with main dealer knowledge and expertise. Bringing your vehicle to us for any of our services can save you up to 30% compared to main dealer prices.
If you are looking for an MOT, Repair or Service for your vehicle, please contact us today on 0117 963 8916 or book online here and one of our experts will be able to answer any questions you may have and arrange an appointment for you.