The MOT test is a UK vehicle inspection that cars need to pass before being driven on the road. The government introduced it in 1960 as part of its policy for reducing the number of accidents involving motor vehicles. The test has been very successful and has achieved further objectives, including helping to keep dirty and dangerous older cars off the road.
Part of its success is due to it being straightforward – if your car doesn’t look unsafe, then it’s probably OK!
It checks that your car meets road safety standards by examining three things:
- Is the vehicle’s structure (chassis) sound?
- Are there any severe defects affecting either safety or environmental impact? – Is the car’s equipment present, in working order, and properly attached?
This is all that the test involves, though each of these three elements is broken down into many separate tests. The tester will give your car a pass or fail verdict on each item, then add up the total number of points that it gets to produce a passing grade.
If your vehicle fails, you’ll need to have it repaired before retaking the test – which usually means taking it to a garage for some work. If this isn’t possible or practical, then you can get someone else who owns an approved testing station to do the repairs for you, but they will need to keep detailed records of exactly what was done for you to get an MOT certificate for your car.
This article provides a detailed explanation of each test, but first, it’s worth going through some significant changes introduced in January 2010.
The MOT Bolton test has been updated and upgraded due to government policy aimed at improving the environmental impact of vehicles on UK roads. All new cars will now use an on-board diagnostic (OBD) system that enables them to communicate with testing equipment to detect problems before they become severe enough for the vehicle to fail its MOT.
To accommodate this change, from 26th January 2010, all tests carried out on pre-2001 cars will rely solely on visual inspections of the vehicle by qualified testers. There is no longer any need to check the car’s emissions.
The other significant change is that an MOT test can now last up to three years, rather than just one year – and if you wait until the day before your test runs out, then you won’t have to pay for it. This does not apply to pre-2001 cars, though, because they will still need to be tested using the same method as before – which means checking their emissions too.
To summarise, this means that:
- Pre-2001 cars will fail their MOTs if there are problems with either the car’s safety or environmental impact (but not both). Their tests will also involve testing emissions.
- Post-2000 cars will pass their MOTs if there are no severe safety defects, and they will also give if there are no problems that affect environmental impact.
MOT Test Categories
The MOT test result is majorly divided into a ‘pass’ or ‘fail’. But these are also further bifurcated, depending on the severity of the vehicle damages.
Pass: A vehicle directly passes the MOT if it is well-maintained and has no faults or damages. Vehicles that are healthy during the time of the test but may require some services after a month or two are given a notice along with the passing certificate. This is done so the owner remembers to get the service done on time.
Fail: A vehicle with minor damages fails the test but is allowed to be driven on the road in case the current MOT certificate is still valid. However, if you fail the MOT with dangerous faults, you will not be allowed to take the car on the road. The repairs will have to be done at the test centre itself.
Car Service Bolton should be regularly done to ensure that the vehicle passes the MOT test in the first attempt.