Automobiles are highly complex machines and potentially can be incredibly dangerous to you and others which is why an annual MOT is a legal requirement. This is a test that checks to see if the car is roadworthy and is performed to identify potential problems that could affect the safety of the vehicle in the future.


The MOT test is named after the Ministry of Transport which is actually now known as the Department of Transport. The test was introduced in 1960 as a mandatory test for any vehicle over 10 years old with examinations being carried out on the steering, lights and brakes. Over the years, the test has become more complex as vehicles have developed and there are now many aspects which are tested, including:

  • Tyres, wheels and TPMS
  • Exhaust
  • Dorrs
  • Mirrors
  • Fiel system
  • Seatbelts
  • Suspension
  • Wipers
  • Electrical wiring
  • Battery

Current Rules

A brand new car does not need to take an MOT for the first three years, after which it will need to be tested annually. If the car passes, you will receive an MOT test certificate with the expiry date so that you know when a new MOT is required – it is illegal to drive a car with an expired MOT and you cannot tax a vehicle with a current MOT certificate.

If the car fails the MOT then you will only be able to drive away if the current certificate is still valid and there are no “dangerous” problems listed. You will need to get repairs carried out in order to get a new certificate and be able to drive the vehicle on the roads.


As such an important test, it is important that motorists know the best way to prepare for an MOT so that they can increase the likelihood of the vehicle passing. Basic vehicle maintenance is important throughout the year and this should include:

  • Keeping the car clean inside and out
  • Replacing windscreen wipes
  • Checking all lights are working
  • Checking the tyre tread and keeping them inflated to the recommended level
  • Topping up fluid levels
  • Driving sensibly

Another smart move is to take out an extended warranty from a specialist like Warrantywise. This is so that the cost of repairs and labour are covered and so that you can easily keep the car in good condition for much longer. Having a warranty can also provide reassurance knowing that you are protected if you need work done on the car.

The MOT test is a legal requirement and every motorist needs to know the importance of getting the test completed each year along with what they can do to increase the likelihood of the vehicle passing.