What to Expect from an MOT and How to Prepare for One

Every car over three years old must undergo an MOT test at a certified DVSA MOT testing station.

MOTs are a test to check that a vehicle is roadworthy and safe to be driven, and the MOT test requirements created by the DVSA (VOSA up until 2014) list all the categories that a car must pass to be able to be driven for the next twelve months. 

It’s worth remembering that a DVSA MOT test just checks the health and emissions of the car on that day and doesn’t check things like air filters or general wear and tear.

Those checks are made during a service. So, many drivers find that booking their car in for a service/MOT saves them time and reduces the chance of an MOT failure. 

MOT Guidelines and Requirements

Should I Be Worried About MOT Testing?

No, (unless you haven’t been looking after your car in the last year). Annual MOTs ensure that you, your passengers, and other road users stay safe while you’re driving. 

As we’ve already mentioned, MOT testing doesn’t look at the mechanical parts of your car, so your engine (coolant levels and oil), clutch, or gearbox will not be checked.

Those are things that we work on during a service. Instead, a DVSA-approved MOT looks at and checks the items designed to keep you safe and legal on the road.

These include:

  • The car’s registration (do the VIN and Registration Plates match up?)
  • Lights (do they all work, including indicators)
  • Steering and suspension
  • Wipers and washers (always remember to fill up your wiper fluid before your test)
  • Horn
  • Seats (are they all working and fitted correctly)
  • Seat belts and airbags (if your airbags aren’t working, your car will fail its MOT)
  • Your fuel system and exhaust emissions (regular servicing will keep these within the correct limits)
  • Vehicle structure (is there any rust anywhere, and is anything hanging off the car?)
  • Doors (do they open and close properly?)
  • Mirrors (do they all have glass in them?)
  • Wheels and tyres (whether the tyres have enough tread on them and they are safe to drive on)
  • Brakes (they need to check that the brakes work and that the pads aren’t overly worn).

How Much Is An MOT?

The maximum cost for an MOT is £54.85, but you must remember that if any work is needed to help your car pass, that will be added to the cost.

It’s a small price to pay to stay safe on the road, and the fine for not having an MOT is £1000!

What MOT Test Results Can I Expect? 

The DVSA has introduced a straightforward fault system to make it easier for drivers to understand their test results. There are three categories which are:

  • Dangerous – That’s an instant MOT failure and means there is an immediate risk to you, your passengers, other road users or the environment.
  • Major – Also an instant failure, but it means that a significant problem needs to be fixed before you can drive the car again (for example, you might need new tyres).
  • Minor – Your car will pass the MOT, but you must fix the problem ASAP. 

Your test centre may also give you an advisory, which is a heads-up about a potential future problem that you should probably look at. 

If your car fails its MOT, it’s not the end of the world; you can arrange to get the problem fixed there and then (if the garage has time that day), on a future date, or at another garage, and then they’ll retest your car for you.

I Need To Find An MOT Centre in Oxford

Well, you’ve come to the right place. If you need an MOT in Oxford, visit our friendly DVSA-approved MOT test centre in Witney, Oxfordshire. We’re just up the road from Oxford, off the A40.

If you’d like to chat about your upcoming MOT (or anything else car-related), get in touch.


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