How Long Does an MOT Test Take?

03rd Mar 2022

By Ellie Brown

MOT Test

Is your car ready for its MOT test? It should be a simple in-and-out job, but there are a few things you can check off your list to make sure you're well-prepared for your MOT and understand what it's all about.

You're probably aware that cars over three years old must by law pass a yearly MOT test to show they're roadworthy, but do you know how long an MOT test takes, or what an MOT test entails? If the answer is no, read on to find everything you need to know about the MOT test.

How long does an MOT test take?

MOT Technician Looking at Car

Usually, your MOT test will last around 45 to 60 minutes. This means you'll be able to go about your day as usual and pop back to the test centre in no time to collect your vehicle once the MOT is complete.

If your car passes its MOT test, you’ll receive your certificate, and you can relax until your next MOT in a year's time. If your vehicle does happen to fail its MOT, and there are repairs required, it’s likely the car will be repaired and returned to you the next day.

A 'major' issue means you'll be allowed to drive your vehicle to a garage to have it repaired. If your car has a 'dangerous' defect, you'll have to wait for the issue to be fixed before driving away. After your vehicle has been repaired, an MOT retest will need to be carried out.

In addition to failure, advisory notes can be given as part of an MOT test. Advisory notes highlight problems with the car that need fixing but aren't severe enough to warrant an MOT failure.

What is an MOT test?

MOT Paper

A Ministry of Transport (MOT) test checks the general health of your vehicle and its parts, ensuring that it's roadworthy and meets the DVSA’s legal safety & environmental standards.

It's illegal in the UK to drive a vehicle on the road without a current MOT certificate, and if your MOT has expired, your insurance will also be invalid. You're required to have an MOT certificate to tax your car and to change its tax class, for example, when requesting free road tax for a disabled driver.

MOT certificates expire 12 months from the date of the test. Therefore, if your car is older than 3 years old, you will need to book an MOT test annually. You'll be able to renew your vehicle's MOT up to one month before your current certificate expires to allow some wiggle room for arranging the MOT test on a date and time that's right for you.

What is checked during an MOT test?

MOT Technician Wearing Mask

The nominated tester will be checking various areas of the car. We've listed a few below, so you can prepare for your MOT test in advance:

  • Exterior: bodywork, towbars, mirrors, vehicle structure, wipers and washers, and registration plates
  • Safety: seatbelts, brakes, steering and suspension, tyres and wheels, head and brake lights, and horn
  • Interior: seats and doors
  • Electrics: wiring, dashboard warning lights, and speedometer
  • Exhausts and Fuel

The MOT test is different to a service as the test doesn't cover the engine, clutch, or gearbox.

Will my car pass its MOT test?

Technician Checking Car

It's safe to say that every car owner wants the answer to this question to be yes. However, it's important to note the common reasons for failing an MOT, so you can double-check these components and make sure you're well-prepared for the day.

Some of the most common MOT failures as recorded by the DVSA include:

  • Lamps, reflectors, and electrical equipment
  • Brakes
  • Tyres
  • Windscreen

A simple, regular check and maintenance of replacing bulbs, wipers, and tyres could prevent your car from failing its MOT test. The DVSA state that nearly 50% of all faults found on MOT tests could be avoided. Cars can fail their MOT test for minor issues like being low on screenwash, so don't let small problems like this result in a failed MOT test when you could easily sort the issue yourself.

If you don’t agree that your vehicle should have failed, you can appeal your test result to the DVSA via an online form, or by writing to them.

How can I prepare for an MOT test?

Putting Air In Tyres

The overall condition, age, and mileage are all varying factors that may impact the chances of the vehicle passing its MOT test. Nonetheless, here are some checks that you can carry out to prepare your car for its MOT test:

  • Fuel, engine oil and windscreen wash: make sure these are all topped up.
  • Windscreen: check for any chips.
  • Lights, indicators, and bulbs
  • Tyre inflation levels
  • Warning lights: if your dashboard is displaying illuminated warning lights, it's unlikely your car is going to pass its MOT test.
  • Tyre condition for damage and tread: the minimum is 1.6mm.

If you would like real peace of mind before your MOT test, we offer a free vehicle health check covering engine components, tyres, brakes, the exterior, steering, electrics, fluids, and suspension.

Book your MOT with Evans Halshaw

You can rest easy knowing your vehicle will be in safe hands with us. Our fully MOT test trained vehicle technicians are ready to give you accurate and honest advice to help you get your car or van through its MOT test as smoothly as possible.

If you're confident that your vehicle is ready for its MOT test, you can book in with our simple MOT online booking process. All you need to do is select your nearest Evans Halshaw dealership and choose a date and time that's convenient for you.