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Book your car’s MOT test online at a test centre near you
With National, you can take the hassle out of booking your upcoming MOT test. With us, you can simply and quickly book an MOT appointment online from a testing centre near you. We have over 100 centres across the country, so there’s sure to be one close by.
Our approved MOT test centres perform tens of thousands of MOTs every year. We can do so many because our team are proven experts – each one is rigorously trained and regularly reassessed by the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency).
That means whatever your make and model, you can trust them to complete your MOT test quickly – and cost-effectively, given that MOT prices at National are some of the lowest you’ll find.
Book your MOT online using the banner above – sign up to our reminder service for the best price, then find your nearest MOT centre, before selecting a date and time. Pay online and that’s it: everything is arranged. Get in touch with our team, talk to us on live chat, or call us on 0800 62 66 66 if you have any questions, or visit our information section.
What is an MOT?
The MOT test assesses whether a vehicle meets the legal, safety, and environmental standards required to be considered roadworthy in the UK.
The MOT is a legal requirement for all vehicles over three years old. Once a vehicle has passed that milestone, it must have an MOT test every year, otherwise, it will not be road legal and you will be unable to tax or insure it. According to the government’s information on getting an MOT, you can be fined up to £1,000 for getting behind the wheel of your car if it does not have a valid MOT certificate.
You should be able to see when your MOT is due to expire by consulting your most recent MOT test certificate or your car’s service book. If you are unsure, use the free government tool, or sign up for our free reminder service to get 50% off your MOT.
What is checked in an MOT?
Wondering what your MOT test will check? Every MOT checks the same eight groups of safety, environmental, and legal factors. These include:
- Electrics, reflectors and lamps
- Suspension and steering
- Wheels and tyres
- Seat belts and supplementary restraint systems (SRS)
- Structure, body, and other general elements
- Emissions, fuel, and exhaust
- The road view of the driver
There are several things within each of these sections that are checked during the test. View our MOT checklist to find out more.
How much is an MOT?
If you sign up for an MOT reminder with National, your MOT will cost just £27.42. That’s 50% cheaper than the maximum fee for a Class 4 car (£54.85) set by the government. Even if you don’t, our standard price is £35 – just one of the ways we keep your motoring costs affordable.
How long does an MOT take?
Your MOT should take between 45 minutes to an hour. That means you can wait at the MOT centre for it to be completed or head off for a short walk and our team will give you a call to let you know when your car is ready to be picked up.
If your car doesn’t pass its MOT and its certificate is expired, the failure items will need repairing. You can drive it to another garage if it is roadworthy but will need to get it towed if not. Alternatively, you can leave it with our trained mechanics and they will fix the problems – this will take as long as agreed.
Why choose National for your car’s MOT?
National is the UK’s trusted garage network. For over 50 years, we’ve brought peace of mind to drivers up and down the country, providing reliable and expert MOTs that keep the public, drivers, passengers, and vehicles safe.
We’ve been able to do this with our constant focus on going the extra mile. That means constantly training our experts so they’re totally in the know when it comes to frequently changing MOT regulations and testing procedures. And because we operate a country-wide network of over 100 dedicated and fully approved MOT test centres, you can easily book an MOT near you.
We perform tens of thousands of MOTs every year on all makes and models of car too, so we know how to provide a fast and effective service. And we also offer MOT and servicing packages, which can be a great choice if you want to speed up and simplify your car maintenance.
What’s more, if you spend over £200 – on repairs or servicing after your MOT, for example – you can also benefit from National Payment Assist. This lets you split your payments into four instalments, with no interest, fees, or credit check required. It’s useful if you want to maximise your household budget and make your motoring maintenance payments less taxing.
All these benefits have meant that the majority of our thousands of Trustpilot ratings have been Excellent or Great – something we’re keen on continuing.
Simplify your car maintenance. Book an MOT near you from our experts today. If you have any questions, contact our team or give us a call.
What do I need to take to my MOT?
All approved MOT test centres can electronically view both your MOT certificate and V5C Vehicle Registration Document – the two crucial pieces of paperwork required to process your MOT. If you have them to hand though, it can be useful to bring them along as this can speed up the process.
You shouldn’t need to bring any other documentation to your MOT test appointment, such as insurance information, tax paperwork, logbook, licence, and so forth.
However, for the test to be carried out, your car must be taxed and insured – any approved test centre can check this information electronically too. Unlike a service, you don’t need to remove any items from your boot, as the MOT test does not look at the condition of your spare tyres.
You will need to bring the following maintenance items too:
- Fuel cap key
- Wheel lock key
If you have any questions about your appointment or what you should and shouldn’t bring, give our team a call, message us via live chat, or get in touch.
What is tested in an MOT?
Our experts will test a long list of components in line with the environmental, safety, and roadworthiness regulations that inform the MOT. These include:
- Bodywork and structure – We will ensure there is no excessive corrosion that may affect its structural integrity or sharp edges that have the potential to cause injury.
- Tow bar – If fitted, we will test to ensure it's fitted properly, in good condition and has a functioning electrical supply, speedometer and engine mountings.
- Fuel system – Spanning all hoses and pipes, we will test the system for leaks, making sure everything is secure. The fuel cap will also be tested to ensure it opens and closes securely.
- Exhaust emissions – The condition of the exhaust components and the emissions from them will be checked, ensuring they meet emissions regulations and are safely secured, with no noise or leaks. We will also test to make sure a catalytic converter is present (if one was factory fitted).
- Seatbelts – These will all be tested to ensure they are working, safe and secure. Airbags, seatbelt pre-tensioners and load limiters will also be checked, as well as their warning lights.
- Seats – We will test these to ensure they are secure, and that the driver’s seat can be adjusted.
- Doors – These will all be tested to ensure they open and close properly – inside and out – and all latches, hinges, and catches are secure and in a good condition.
- Mirrors – We will make sure there are the minimum number required, and that they are secure and of the correct condition. Indirect vision devices will also be tested.
- Load security – The boot and bonnet will be checked to ensure they open and close properly
- Brakes – These will be tested (with the wheels on) for braking efficiency – the MOT efficiency test. This will also include the electronic parking brake, ESC (electronic stability control), and ABS (anti-lock braking system) if fitted as standard. All dashboard warning lights will be checked too, including the brake fluid warning light.
- Wheels and tyres – These will be checked for security, general condition, tread depth, size and type. The TPMS (tyre pressure monitoring system) will also be checked for vehicles registered after 1st January 2012. Note that spare wheels and tyres are not covered in an MOT.
- Registration plates – Both will be tested to ensure they comply with the regulations regarding correct colour, font, characters, and spacing, and are fitted correctly. The VIN (vehicle identification number) is also checked to ensure a single VIN is displayed.
- Headlights - The headlights, including high-intensity discharge (HID) and light-emitting diode (LED) types, will be checked to ensure they are functioning, clean, secure, levelled, and aimed correctly. The main beam warning light is also tested.
- Bonnet – This will be tested to make sure it closes and secures properly.
- Washers, wipers, and windscreen – All these are tested to ensure they enable the driver to clearly view the road.
- Horn – This is tested to make sure it works properly and is the correct type for the vehicle.
- Steering and suspension – The condition of these components will be checked for inappropriate repairs and corrosion. The steering oil level also will be checked, as well as the steering lock, and all dashboard warning lights.
- Electrics – The battery and any visible electrical wiring will also be tested.
There are lots of things you can do before your MOT test to ensure that it passes with flying colours the first time – view our pre-MOT checklist guide to learn more.
How early can you book an MOT?
Want to book your MOT early to stay on top of your car maintenance? Maybe you want to get the absolute most out of your full MOT year? Thankfully, there are no rules on how early you get your MOT.
First, it’s important to bear in mind that MOTs last for a full year and the expiry date is printed on your MOT certificate. You can book your car’s MOT up to one month (minus one day) before it expires without it affecting your renewal date. This lets you still get the full 12 months’ benefit.
For example, if your vehicle’s MOT expires on September 12th, 2021, the earliest you can book your MOT without changing the renewal date is August 13th, 2021 (one month minus one day). In this example, you would still keep your September 12th, 2021 renewal date.
If you want to book an MOT before this, however, you can do so at any time you like. For instance, car dealers will often have a second-hand car retested to give the new owner the benefit of a 12-month certificate. For example, using the above scenario, if you decide to take the vehicle for its MOT on August 7th, 2021, then the new expiry date will now be August 6th, 2022.
The problem here is that the MOT certificate will then only last for one year from the date of the MOT (minus one day) and you will get ‘less MOT for your money’ as a result. However, if there are many MOTs likely to be conducted – such as the autumn 2021 glut caused by the COVID MOT extension – you increase your chances of beating the queues.
If you’re still unsure when you need to get an MOT, use our free date check service and save 50% on your next MOT.
Book an MOT near you with National – MOT experts since 1970
Get an MOT you can trust from our experts – book an MOT near you now with our simple and quick booking tool. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to message us via live chat, get in touch online or over the phone. Alternatively, check out our MOT information section to get totally in the know.
Frequently Asked Questions about MOT Checks
MOT originally stood for Ministry of Transport (a now obsolete Government department) and the MOT Test was first introduced in 1960. Originally, it was only conducted when a vehicle reached 10 years old and then every year thereafter. It is a far more wide-reaching test now than it was back then, but vehicles have become a lot more complex!
The MOT is a legal check that ensures your vehicle is roadworthy.
Important parts are checked to ensure they meet legal standards but the test does NOT cover engine condition, gearbox or clutch condition.
The MOT test covers the following;
- The vehicle’s bodywork and structure to ensure there is no excessive corrosion that may affect its structural integrity
- The tow bar (if fitted) to ensure its fitted properly and has a functioning electrical supply
- The fuel system (including all its hoses and pipes) will be checked for leaks and to ensure everything is secure. The fuel cap will also be checked to ensure it opens and closes securely.
- The exhaust’s emissions will be checked (along with its general condition – safely secured, noise and leaks) to make sure it meets emissions regulations. They’ll also check that a Catalytic Converter is present (if one was factory fitted).
- The seatbelts will all be checked to ensure they are working, safe and secure. Airbag warning lights, seatbelt pre-tensioners and load limiters will also be checked.
- The seats will also be checked to ensure they are secure and that the driver’s seat can be adjusted.
- The doors will be checked to ensure the open/close properly from the inside and the outside and all latches are secure and in a good condition.
- The mirrors will all be checked.
- The boot and bonnet will be checked to ensure they open and closes properly
- The brakes will be checked (with the wheels on) for braking efficiency (called the efficiency test), this will also include the electronic parking brake, ESC (electronic stability control) and ABS (anti-lock braking system) if fitted as standard. All dashboard warning lights will be checked including the brake fluid warning light.
- The wheels and tyres will be checked for security, general condition, tread depth, size and type. Spare wheels and tyres are NOT covered in an MOT. The TPMS (tyre pressure monitoring system) will also be checked for vehicles registered after 1st January 2012.
- The vehicle’s registration plates will be checked to ensure they comply with the regulations and are fitted correctly. The VIN (vehicle identification number) is also checked to ensure a single VIN is displayed.
- The headlights will be checked to ensure they are functioning and aimed correctly.
- The washers, wipers and windscreen will be checked to ensure clear road visibility.
- The horn will be checked for suitability and function
- The steering and suspension condition (and steering oil) will be checked for inappropriate repairs and corrosion and that the steering lock works correctly. All dashboard warning lights will also be checked.
- The battery and any electrical wiring that is visible will also be checked.
For more information on what's included in the car MOT checklist? Click here
Check out our top tips to help you prepare for your MOT. These simple checks will greatly increase your vehicle's chances of passing it's MOT first time.
The easiest solution is to set a reminder on your mobile phone or in your diary. Or you may prefer to simply sign up for our FREE MOT Reminder service and we'll remind you 6 weeks, 4 weeks and 2 weeks before your MOT is due.
Remember you can be fined up to £1,000 for driving without an MOT certificate.
MOTs last for a full year and the expiry date is printed on your MOT certificate.
You can actually get your MOT up to one month (minus 1 day) BEFORE it expires and it will not affect your renewal date (so you will still get the full 12 months benefit).
For example, if your vehicle’s MOT expires on the 12th October, the earliest you can book your MOT in is the 13th September (one month minus 1 day). In this example, you would still keep your 12th October renewal date.
You can actually take you vehicle for an MOT test at ANY time you like (car dealers will often have a second-hand car re-tested to give the new owner the benefit of a 12-month certificate), but the MOT certificate will then only last for one year from the date of the MOT (minus 1 day).
For example, using the above scenario, if you decide to take the vehicle for its MOT on the 7th September then the new expiry date will now be the 6th September the following year.
You cannot renew your vehicle tax without a valid MOT test certificate. You need to renew your tax AFTER it has passed an MOT.
You can be fined £1,000 for driving a vehicle on a public road without a valid MOT test certificate. There are some exceptions (see below).
Driving or parking a vehicle on a public road without a valid MOT is a prosecutable offense, BUT you CAN drive the vehicle to and from an MOT test centre (you may need to prove to the Police that you have a booked appointment). You ARE also allowed to drive it to and from a repair centre (again, you may need to provide evidence if stopped by the Police).
It is illegal to drive a car on UK roads without insurance, even if you are driving it to an MOT test centre. Driving on a public road without cover could result in unlimited fines, 6-8 penalty points or even a lengthy ban. Day insurance can be a cost-effective to insure your vehicle for short periods.
In most cases an insurance company will invalidate your policy if your MOT certificate has expired. This will leave you to pick up any repair costs following an accident and if you are found to be at fault for an accident involving a third party, then any damages incurred by them will also be your responsibility. The following article offers more information on this topic, telling you how to Check Tax and MOT and Insurance.
You can book an MOT at any approved testing station. There are around 23,000 repair garages that are authorised to conduct an MOT test in Great Britain. Authorised centres have to meet stringent criteria and MOT Testers are highly trained and continually tested throughout their career. You can find your nearest National MOT Test Centre here
MOT stations have to be approved and regulated by the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) which is a Government agency and part of the UK Department for Transport (DfT). Only, authorised MOT test centres are allowed to display the blue MOT symbol with three white triangles.
Each vehicle type is given a ‘Class’ from 1-7. Prices vary between classes.
Not all MOT testing centres can carry out MOTs on all classes of vehicles.
At National, we only carry out Class 4 MOT’s which covers the following vehicle types;
· 3-wheeled vehicles (over 450Kg)
· Cars (with up to 8 passenger seats)
· Motor Caravans
· Dual Purpose Vehicles
· Private hire and public services vehicles (up to 8 seats)
· Ambulances and taxis
· Private passenger vehicles and ambulances (9-12 passenger seats)
· Goods vehicles (up to 3,000kg)
* Not all MOT ramps can accommodate Long Wheel Base (LWB) Vans or Motorhomes, please check before traveling
An MOT either passes or fails an MOT.
If it passes, it will receive an MOT test certificate (VT20) and will be recorded in the DVSA’s MOT database.
You may receive notification of ‘minor’ or ‘advisory’ items that may need monitoring before the next test (VT32).
If the test reveals ‘dangerous’ or ‘major’ problems then it will fail and you may need to get the problems fixed before driving it again.
You will be issued with a ‘refusal of an MOT test certificate’ (VT30) and this will be recorded in the DVSA’s MOT database.
You can read more about your options if your car fails it's MOT here.
No you do not need take your previous MOT certificate with you when you go for a test. You can read more about it here: Are old MOT certificates needed when re-testing?
If your car has no MOT, you can only legally drive to the garage en-route to your appointment. For more information on driving a car without an MOT, please click on the following article: Can you drive a car without an MOT?
As part of the MOT check, you will fail if your exhaust emissions exceed the legal limit. If you own a diesel car and would like to read more about this, please click on the following article: 5 ways to reduce diesel emissions ahead of an MOT check
Sign up to our MOT Reminder Service.
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