MOT Test Information





  • All UK cars on the road that are three years old are legally required to have a valid MOT certificate.
  • MOTs were introduced in 1960 and were originally required for vehicles over 10 years old
  • The MOT Test took its name from the Ministry of Transport, the Government office, now called the Department of Transport (DfT).
  • MOT tests are carried out to ensure a consistency of roadworthiness for UK vehicles. To be roadworthy, a vehicle must comply with the minimum road safety and environmental standards.
  • If your car passes the test, you will be issued with an MOT certificate, which is valid for one year.
  • An MOT certificate does not guarantee a car’s general mechanical condition, merely that the car was roadworthy enough to pass the test on the day it was submitted.
  • The MOT test fee for an average car is currently set at a maximum by VOSA Fees and the fee is not subject to VAT.
  • MOTs can be carried out at around 19,000 authorised garages in the UK (look for the familiar three triangle symbol).
  • There are around 50,000 qualified MOT testers in the UK.
  •  If you are unhappy with the way your vehicle was tested, or you disagree with the MOT result, you can contact the  local Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) with your comments. VOSA are also the people to contact if you think an MOT certificate is a fake.
  • Owners can check the MOT status or history of their vehicle, or a vehicle they’re considering buying, by calling VOSA on 0870 330 0444 or visiting their MOT Info website.
  • Before you can access the information from the MOT Computerisation database you will need the following:
  • The vehicle registration mark from the number plate And EITHER
  • The MOT test number from the VT20 MOT Test Certificate or VT30 Refusal of an MOT Certificate


  • The document reference number from the V5C Registration Certificate issued by the DVLA
  • You need a valid MOT Certificate in order to tax your car (unless the vehicle is less than three years old).
  • Components scrutinised during a car MOT test: vehicle identification number (VIN); registration plate; lights; steering and suspension; wipers and washers; windscreen; horn; seatbelts; seats; fuel system; emissions; exhaust; vehicle structure; doors; mirrors; wheels and tyres; brakes.
  • Components tested during a motorbike MOT: lights; steering and suspension; horn; exhaust; wheel alignment; frame; wheels and tyres; brakes; final drive; footrests; seat.
  • Penalties: driving without a valid MOT certificate won’t lose you any points on your license, but it does carry a maximum fine of £1,000 and possible disqualification.
  • More information is available from the VOSA  website


Thank you for visiting Philip Manfield School of Motoring Cardiff