How Do I Find Out When My Cars First MOT Is Due
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How do I find out when my car's first MOT is due? This article looks at what an MOT certificate is and how to prepare a car for an MOT test?
What is an MOT?
In the UK, by law, vehicles that are over three years old need to undergo an annual MOT, meaning Ministry of Transport, test.
The ultimate purpose of this test, which needs to be arranged and carried out at an authorised testing centre, is to ensure that a vehicle is safe to be driven on the roads.
Most importantly, if a vehicle fails its MOT test, then it will need to go through all of the necessary repairs in order to bring it up to all the legalised standards. It is required for a car to pass the MOT test, or otherwise, it is deemed illegal for the vehicle to be driven on the roads
Over the past decade, the consequences of driving a car without a valid MOT have become harsher and harsher. At the time of writing, as soon as a vehicle fails an MOT test, it is considered to be dangerous and cannot be driven.
If you are caught driving a vehicle that has failed an MOT test, you can be fined as much as £2,500, as well as accumulating three points on your driving license. In addition to this, car insurance will not be valid in most cases where an MOT is not valid.
What is an MOT certificate?
An MOT certificate is an official document that certifies that a vehicle has passed an MOT test.
For any vehicle that is over three years old, the process of undergoing and passing an annual MOT test is a legal requirement.
The MOT status for your vehicle is legally required always to be current, and it is necessary for the certificate to be renewed before it expires.
How do I get an MOT certificate?
To get an MOT certificate for your vehicle, the following steps need to be taken:
Get in touch with an MOT centre. This does not need to be the MOT centre that carried out the MOT test Give the centre your vehicle registration number, as well as your V5C log book reference numberThe MOT centre can then hand over a replacement certificate
Currently, you cannot apply for a new MOT certificate online
How much will it cost?
The cost to get an MOT certificate is £10, but this cost can change when applied to heavy goods and public service vehicles.
Do I still need my MOT certificate?
You need to keep a copy of your MOT certificate safe on file just in case you need to sell your vehicle at some point in the future. It will also save you from having to pay for a brand new replacement certificate in the future in the scenario where you lose it.
When is my first MOT due?
If you have recently purchased a fairly new car, then you should check the date that the vehicle was originally registered. The first MOT is due three years after the original registration date.
Here is an example that should explain. If the original vehicle registration was on the 19th of December 2015, then the vehicle's first MOT will be due no later than the 19th of December 2018.
Once a vehicle is three years old, it needs to pass an MOT examination every year. At this point, you can book your MOT up to one month in advance, minus the one day, of the expiry date.
So, for example, if your MOT expires on the 1st of December, then the earliest date you can book for your MOT examination would be the 2nd of July.
You can always book your MOT for an earlier date, but then it will be due for another MOT examination twelve months after the date of the original test.
How do I prepare my car for an MOT test?
Below are some important tips for preparing your vehicle for its MOT test:
- Ensure that the vehicle's horn is working
- Check the condition of the car's windscreen washers and wipers. Top up the screen wash when it is necessary. If any of the wipers need to be replaced, then they can easily be purchased for a reasonable price from motor shops. They are easy to fit, but if you are struggling with this, then many shops will also offer to fit the wipers for a low cost.
- The vehicle oil levels need to be topped up.
- Ensure that all of the seat belts are working properly and they are not frayed, damaged, or cut.
- Make sure that all the car's bulbs are working properly. This includes the headlights, brake lights, number plate lights, fog lights, and indicators. Each of the lights also needs to be checked for damage.
- All tyres need to be checked for cuts, bulges or objects. Ensure that the tyre's tread depth is a minimum of 1.6mm. If any of the vehicle's tyres have a tread which is less than this, then they will need to be replaced. If your vehicle has a spare tyre, then it is important for you to check the condition of this too.
- The brake system's fluid level also needs to be checked to ensure that it is at the correct level. If you are not sure about this, then you should refer to the vehicle's manual or handbook.
- The vehicle's mirrors and windscreen also need to be checked for any chips or cracks.Ensure that the car's exhaust has no corrosion and is completely secure.
- If the vehicle's dashboard is showing a warning light, then you need to check the manual to find out whether the issue is something that you can fix easily yourself or need a professional.
- The vehicle's number plates need to be readable and completely free from dirt. This is an important part of the MOT test
- Although it might seem obvious, you need to ensure that your vehicle is moderately clean and not full up from unnecessary clutter.
One final reminder is to always take your V5C (logbook) along with you to the MOT test centre.
My car is new. When is my MOT due?
It is required for you to take your vehicle for an MOT test as soon as it becomes three years old. You need to check your vehicle registration document (V5) in order to find the date that your vehicle was originally registered.
Your car's MOT is due three years after this date. If you wish, then you can have the car tested up to a month early.
How to find your MOT due date if you lost your MOT certificate
If you have somehow misplaced your MOT certificate and also cannot remember the date that your next MOT is due, then you can check your V5 documents in order to find an approximate date.
The accuracy of this date can depend on the vehicle's previous owner and if they would take the vehicle for MOT tests on time.
You can also get in contact with the MOT centre where the vehicle was last tested, and they should have an electronic record of the date. The final way you can find your MOT test due date is to check the MOT history of a vehicle online.
This is the way that is most popular in modern times. Firstly, you will need your vehicle registration documents, as well as either an MOT test number or the document reference which comes from the V5C registration certificate.