What is an ‘MOT’?

MOT Tests are a yearly examination that are split into different classes depending on vehicle type, Weight and ‘Body Style’. Have a look at the classes below.  

Essentially, we conduct MOTs on behalf of the DVSA which is overseen by the secretary of state. It is a road worthiness check, checking critical components on your vehicle for wear, damage, corrosion and operation. Emissions are checked using calibrated analyzers and brakes tested using calibrated brake testers, most commonly, brake rollers (RBT Roller brake test) which must be carried out at an authorized test center.  

Over the phone and online testing (often called ‘Ghost tests’ or ‘Ghost MOT’s’ by those offering this service) is illegal and dangerous often is offered by organized crime groups and testers that do them are pressured into it by these organizations. As the vehicle cannot be tested outside of an authorized test center, It may seem easier or quicker than having an actual MOT, However, If you carry around your family, why would you compromise their safety and safety of others?  

DVSA are working tirelessly to catch these sorts of tests out, often relying on intelligence passed onto them and will cancel all MOT’s they suspect were conducted fraudulently. Last year (2022-2023) 146 MOT Testers we’re removed from the Testing system for fraudulent Tests.  

You can be fined up to £1,000 for driving a vehicle without a valid MOT. 

Do all vehicles require an annual MOT?  

Vehicles under 3 years, usually are exempt from MOT. There are exceptions i.e Taxis Usually have to have tests yearly or 6 monthly. This is a requirement by local authorities, but once tested will fall into the yearly requirements thereafter and will lose its 3 year mot exemption.  

Vehicles over 40 years of age are MOT exempt, however many Insurance companies are now requiring MOT’s to be carried out for insurance purposes.  

If you are unsure of when your MOT is due, use the Government MOT Checker 

What MOT Do I Need for my vehicle? 

MOT Classes are different for different sized and weight Vehicles, Commonly Cars and vans are class 4 or 7. If you are unsure of your test class or which test you require, give us a call and our team will be happy to assist you.  

Here at TLC Garage Services, We can Test vehicles in classes 4,5&7. We have one of the biggest test lanes in the South west. With a 6.5T Capacity, and a 6.5m Platform we can MOT the largest vans and motorhomes up to 6.5T!  

For your Motorhome MOT in wellington, Give us a call today!  

For a detailed explanation of test classes, visit the MOT Testing guide by dvsa here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/mot-testing-guide/a-introduction  

We have condensed this information to more user-friendly definitions below.  

Class 1 MOT  

Motorcycles up to 200cc or 4kw power with a maximum speed of 28mph. i.e Mopeds, Small motorbikes etc. 

Class 2 MOT 

Larger Motorcycles over 200cc.  

Class 3 MOT 

3-Wheeled vehicles up to 450kg unladen weight. 

Class 4 MOT 

  • Cars, passenger vehicles,  
  • motorhomes regardless of size or weight. 
  • Taxis & Private hire vehicles (up to 8 seats),  
  • Quad bikes 
  • Vans (goods vehicles) 3,000kg gross weight and under.   
  • Ambulances with up to eight passenger seats 
  • 3-wheeled vehicles over 450kg unladen weight. 
  • Dual purpose vehicles. (Often double cab pick-up type vehicles) 
  • Private passenger vehicles and ambulances (9 to 12 passenger seats) 

Class 4a 

Is the same as a Class 4 MOT with an additional Seatbelt installation check.  

Class 5 MOT 

Private Passenger vehicles (minibuses) with over 12 passenger seats. Including Community buses and play buses. 

Class 5a 

Is the same as a Class 5 MOT with an additional Seatbelt installation check.  

Class 6 & 6A  

Public service vehicles (PSVs). Tested by DVSA at DVSA Stations, or Authorised testing facilities (ATF’s) where the DVSA go in to test them.  

Class 7 MOT 

Vans over 3000kgs up to 3500kgs in gross weight.  

What Does a Car / Van MOT Include? 

During an MOT, our DVSA-approved examiners will conduct a visual inspection and a comprehensive series of checks around the vehicle. They look at the interior, exterior, under the bonnet and underneath the vehicle in an approved format, called a ‘test routine’ to ensure every test is as fair, accurate and efficient as possible.  

Some of the parts or components checked during an MOT include: 

  • Seats, Seatbelts, and buckles 
  • Mirrors and vision from drivers view 
  • Doors (operation, security, and condition) 
  • Exterior lights (Sidelights, Daytime running lights, headlights, indicators etc) 
  • Brakes including brake test 
  • Exhaust Condition and emissions 
  • Warning lights (ABS, Engine management etc) 
  • Tyres, Wheels and TPMS system 
  • Suspension Arms, Springs, ball joints and Shock absorbers etc 
  • registration plate (Condition, Spacing and size) 
  • Steering components (play and condition)  

Many Items on an MOT are only applicable for vehicles of certain ages. For example; daytime running lamps (DRLs) only need to be examined on vehicles first used on or after 1 March 2018 and Reversing lamps only come into an mot on vehicles first used from 1 September 2009. 

So, how much does this cost and how long does it take? 

The DVSA Set the maximum charge for MOT’s, Test stations cannot Charge more for an mot than £54.85. There is also no VAT on an MOT. 

An MOT test usually takes around 45 minutes on average depending on type vehicle and test station lay out. Some larger vehicles such as vans, minibuses or motorhomes may take slightly longer.  

What should I do if my vehicle fails MOT? 

If your vehicle Fails an MOT, Repairs must be undertaken before the vehicle can be re-tested and a pass certificate issued. On a Failure (officially called a VT30 refusal to issue MOT Certificate) there is a description of fault usually identifying what the fault the tester found is, with a reference number referring to items within the MOT Test manual, ‘the bible’ as some testers call it.  

Most MOT Centres offer repair services, repairs can sometimes be discounted slightly by them if tested with them, This varies between garages. Or you can take the vehicle away and get it repaired else where. You should never feel pressured by any garages to undertake repairs.  

We’ve often been asked if garages can stop you taking your vehicle away if it has failed on dangerous defects. The answer is NO! they cannot force you to get them to repair the vehicle before taking it away.  

However, it is worth noting, if a vehicle has failed on a dangerous defect it should not be driven on the road and you could be liable to a fine by the police if they stop you. 

Once your vehicle has been repaired, you will need to book your vehicle in for a Retest, this can only be carried out by the garage that did the initial MOT. It cannot be retested by another MOT Test station, they would have to do a new test and a full examination.  

I’ve Forgotten my MOT What shall I do? 

Driving a vehicle without a valid MOT (except when booked into a test station and travelling directly to them) is illegal under Section 47 of the road traffic act 1988 Potentially invalidating insurance and landing a £1,000 fine and six to eight points on your license! Pretending you didn’t realise wont wash, If the police do pull you over on the way, you must be able to prove you have a pre-booked test.  

Don’t panic, We’ve got you covered! Give us a call or Book online, we will get you in as soon as we can. Book online here Call us on (01823 444 999) Or visit our contact us page for more way to contact us! We can set up automatic reminders for you so you never forget, ask our staff for more details. 

Car and van MOT at TLC Garage Services 

Understanding what an MOT is and means is a brilliant way of ensuring you’re keeping your vehicle on the road safely and legally.  

There is no Grace period for MOT’s so its always worth getting it booked early to preserve the MOT date (up to 28 days early keeps the expiry date the same for a year later)  

Look at our top tips for making sure your car passes with TLC Garage Services today.