How to check your MOT status 

Published March 20, 2024
Categories: MOT Information

Unsure how to check your MOT status? You’ve come to the right place!

Here at ART Garage Crewe, we’ve carried out countless MOT tests on all kinds of vehicles, so we can help you to understand the purpose and importance of keeping an eye on your MOT status.

Regardless of whether you’ve just purchased a second-hand car or can’t remember the date of your vehicle’s last MOT, it’s crucial that you know how to check your MOT status.

Why do you need to check your MOT status?

An MOT test is an annual test carried out to ensure a vehicle is roadworthy and can be legally driven on public UK roads.

Many different safety aspects of a vehicle are tested and assessed during this MOT test, including the vehicle’s brakes, seat belts, tyres, and lamps.

If your vehicle meets these road safety and environmental standards, then you will pass and be awarded your new (of first) MOT certificate.

However, this MOT certificate is only valid for a year and it must therefore be renewed annually before it expires.

As a result, it’s crucial that you know the status of your vehicle’s MOT certificate before you drive the vehicle if you don’t want to be hit with penalties.

How do I check my MOT status?

You can check your MOT status easily by heading online to use the government’s check MOT status tool. After navigating to this page and selecting ‘start now’, all you need to do is fill out the registration number (number plate) and select ‘continue’.

The site will then ask you ‘is this the vehicle you are looking for?’ and display details about the vehicle including the make and colour to confirm the identity of the vehicle.

If the details are correct, simply select ‘yes’ and you’ll be taken to the page which lists many more details about the vehicle (such as the date of first registration and year of manufacture), including the vehicle’s tax and MOT status.

Alongside displaying the status of the vehicle’s MOT, it will also show the expiry date of the MOT certificate.

However, if the details are incorrect when you search the registration number, then you may need to update your vehicle details or check the number plate again to ensure you’re entering the right number. 

How to check the MOT history of a vehicle

If you’re more interested in the history of a vehicle, then you can also check the MOT status of a vehicle by heading online to use the government’s check MOT history service.

After filling out your registration number (number plate) and selecting ‘continue’, you should be able to see the entire MOT history of the vehicle, including the date, mileage, location, advisories, defects, and outcome (whether it’s passed or failed) of each MOT test.

Crucially, it will also show you when the next MOT is due if you want to double check the MOT status. Having access to a vehicle’s MOT history is particularly useful when you’re considering purchasing it.

This is because you’ll be more informed about the history of the car including any recurring faults that could crop again in the future. Not to mention, a consistent history of MOT passes mean it’s more likely that the previous owner(s) maintained the vehicle properly.

Is my vehicle exempt from an MOT?

According to the UK government’s guidelines on historic (classic) vehicles, there are some vehicles that are exempt from an MOT, so you won’t need to worry about checking their MOT status.

MOT-exempt vehicles include those that were built (or first registered) more than 40 years ago and no ‘substantial changes’ have been made to the vehicle in the last 30 years. For example, if you replaced the engine of a 40-year-old vehicle within the last ten years, it would still require an MOT.

Not to mention, based on current legislation, brand new vehicles don’t require an MOT test until they’re three years old, so you’re under no legal obligation to book your vehicle in for an MOT test until after three years.

Can I drive my vehicle if it fails an MOT?

If your car fails its new MOT test either on or after the expiry date of the existing MOT certificate, you cannot drive the vehicle. The only exception to this rule is if you’re driving the vehicle to a garage or your own home for repairs.

Once the repairs have been carried out, you should take the vehicle back to the original MOT test centre for a pre-booked retest. The appointment must be pre-booked if you want to avoid being penalised for driving without a valid MOT.

If you’re concerned that your vehicle may fail it’s MOT test, but you can’t afford to carry out the repairs, you should try to schedule your MOT test for a date before the existing MOT certificate expires.

Schedule your MOT with ART Garage Crewe

If you’ve checked your MOT and can see that it’s due to expire within the next month, don’t wait for this date to pass you by! Contact ART Garage Crewe to book your MOT with our friendly and knowledgeable team of mechanics today.

Our comprehensive MOT services are conducted by a team of experienced professionals, but offered at the affordable price you expect from your local garage.

Our team of expert mechanics will assess the roadworthiness of your vehicle using high-end diagnostic equipment to ensure you have peace of mind when you drive away.

Supported by a wide range of genuine OEM parts for all kinds of makes and models, if the MOT uncovers any urgent repairs or replacements, we’ll endeavour to get your vehicle running smoothly as soon as possible.

Regardless of whether you’re based in Crewe or the surrounding areas, have a car, van, or motorcycle, we can provide a full MOT.

If you’d like to find out more about our MOT services and costs or are keen to book your MOT test, please feel free to either give us a call on 0127 021 4445 or get in touch using our convenient online contact form.

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