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When do you need to MOT your vehicle?
Every vehicle in the UK needs to be tested each year to ensure that it complies with roadworthiness standards. If you have a vehicle that is more than three years old, it will need an MOT test each year to ensure that it meets at least the minimum road safety and environmental standards.
- the first test is required once a vehicle is three years old. (There are different rules if you use it as a taxi)
- when your vehicle is tested, the MOT looks at some important items to see if it meets the legal requirements
- you should be aware that the MOT certificate is not a guarantee of the general mechanical condition of a vehicle
- if a vehicle is registered with no prior use on the road, the MOT will be required three years after the date of manufacture. For example, a vehicle registered "from new" on 25 April 2000 will require its MOT no later than 25 April 2003
- if a vehicle is used prior to registration, as would be the case with an import, the MOT will be required three years from the end of the year of manufacture. For example a vehicle manufactured at any time in 2000 will require an MOT no later than 31 December 2003
There is no grace period given after these dates.
An MOT can be carried out at any time
If the vehicle is presented for test within the calendar month prior to the date that the MOT is due, the test certificate will run from the date of the test to one year after the expiry date of the current certificate for example if the current certificate was due to expire on 1 April 2003, and the vehicle was presented on or after 2 March 2003, the certificate would run from the test date until 1 April 2004.
To have this extension, the vehicle owner should present their old certificate to the test station to verify that the extra time is applicable. The tester would then write the serial number of the old certificate in the appropriate section of the new certificate.
The same rule would also apply if the vehicle was taken in within a calendar month of its first MOT. In this case, the vehicle owner would need to present their registration document and the serial number from this document will be entered in the 'last certificate serial number' box on the MOT.
If the vehicle is tested earlier than one month before it's due date, it will only run for twelve months.