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MOT Testing Guide

All cars, vans, motorcycles and light passenger vehicles are required, by law, to undergo a DVLA MOT check annually once they reach 3 years old from the date of first registration.

In May 2018, the standard vehicle MOT check for England, Scotland and Wales was changed.

The new format for this well-established safety test was changed to give a more rigorous check of the vehicles on our roads. Cars, vans, motorcycles and light passenger vehicles are included.

So, what are the key changes that have been made?

Instead of a basic ‘pass’ or ‘fail’, the new car MOT system now has additional categories for clearer guidance.

That is, your vehicle can pass its MOT with an additional note of either:

  • ‘Minor’,
  • ‘Advisory’ or
  • ‘Pass.

These additional notes mean that you can still drive the vehicle, as the item has no significant effect on its safety or any environmental impact. ‘Minor’ items should be repaired as soon as possible, ‘advisory’ items should be monitored and repaired as they could become more serious before the next annual DVLA MOT check is due.

If your vehicle fails its MOT, it will either be categorised -

‘dangerous’, and you will be unable to drive it until it is fixed, or

‘major’, where it may impact on the vehicle’s safety, the safety of other road users, or the environment.

In the latter case, the vehicle needs to be repaired as soon as possible.

What is in the new MOT test?

Stricter Emission Control

The car MOT certificate has more recently had an additional piece of paper attached outlining the results of a compulsory emissions test. There are now tighter limits for emissions from vehicles with diesel particulate filters (DPFs). A DPF captures and stores exhaust soot to reduce the emission level from a diesel vehicle. The tester will issue a ‘major’ fault fail if they see smoke coming from the exhaust or evidence of tampering with the filter.

More Rigorous Checks

Additional items that are now checked for during a DVLA MOT check include under-inflation of tyres, brake fluid contamination, fluid leaks, brake pad warning lights, reversing lights, headlight washers and daytime running lights (if fitted).

These checks aim to keep vehicles as safe as possible for drivers, passengers, pedestrians and other road users; and to help protect our environment.

New Certification

The look of the MOT certificate has been changed to make it easier to understand. Any defects are clearly listed and explained. And, of course, the MOT is recorded online, so that the Police and any other agencies needing to check if a vehicle has a current MOT can do so easily and remotely. You too can carry out an MOT check online by clicking the 'Check My MOT' button at the foot of this page.

Classic Vehicles Exemption

If a vehicle is over 40 years old and has not been substantially changed, then it won’t need to have an MOT test.

MOT Costs

How much is an MOT test?

The maximum fee that an MOT Test Centre can charge for the test is currently £54.85. The JCB Group’s Service Centres regularly offer discounted rates on the MOT test and our Loyalty Card customers will always get a discount.

You can be fined up to £1,000 for driving a vehicle without a valid MOT test certificate, so it's important to remember to have the vehicle MOT check done.

Don’t be caught out! Let us help.