When is my MOT due?

Your MOT is one of the most important legal documents that you require to drive your car on any UK road. While paying your car insurance and road tax is also important, the MOT is perhaps the easiest and cheapest to obtain each year. So don’t delay in getting it sorted when the time comes around.

That being said, it’s hard enough remembering your significant other’s birthday or a wedding anniversary each year – how can you be expected to remember the exact date of an MOT renewal? Well, thankfully you don’t have to.

There are other ways to know when your MOT is due.

What is an MOT?

Your MOT is a certificate given to your car by the Ministry Of Transport. It determines that your car is safe to drive on the road. It is one of the few legal requirements you need to drive your car, however not every car needs to have a valid MOT certificate if it isn’t being driven on the road. Yes, that means that if your car is sitting on the driveway for a long period of time, not being driven, you don’t need to get an MOT for it.

The MOT is a general assessment of the car to make sure it’s safe. This means testing the following areas of the car for a number of things:

  • The body and vehicles structure
  • The towbars and their condition
  • The fuel systems functionality
  • Exhaust emissions
  • Exhaust system
  • Seatbelts
  • Seats
  • Doors
  • Mirrors
  • Load security
  • Brakes
  • Tyres and wheels
  • Registration plates
  • Lights
  • Bonnet closing mechanism
  • Wipers condition and washing mechanism
  • Windscreen
  • Horn
  • Steering and suspension
  • The Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is present and available
  • Electrical wiring including the battery

We know, it’s a long list, but generally, it’s easy to pass an MOT test if your car is in good condition and you’ve looked after it in the last year.

Where to find your latest MOT certificate

When your car passes an MOT the garage is legally required to give you the certificate. While there may be cases when they forget to hand it over – you can be sure that they will have printed one off, so it might be a case of going back there in the first week or two after it’s done. But why is the MOT certificate important? Aside from the fact that it allows you to legally drive your car, it will also tell you your renewal date. This allows us to answer the all-important question – when is your MOT due?

If you’re starting to think that your MOT must be due soon, check your certificate. In some cases if your car is on finance, then the leasing company will send you a notification that your car’s MOT is due, however, if you own your car outright, it’s your responsibility to check. Remember that if your car is 3 years old or less, you won’t need an annual MOT. But if you think it’s soon, dig out that certificate and get it booked in.

What if I can’t find my MOT certificate?

Don’t panic. Luckily there is an online government system that will tell you exactly when your car’s MOT is up for renewal. It’s a similar database to what the police use in order the check the status of your car when they’re spot-checking random drivers.

All you need to know is the registration of your vehicle. Head over to the GOV.uk website and enter the information. From there you can find out what the current MOT status is and a lot more information such as when the tax is due. This will give you a date that you then need to book your MOT certificate based on.

Is my MOT always due each year?

Your MOT will always be on the same day each year as soon as the car reaches 3 years old. It doesn’t matter if you have an electric car, a hybrid, diesel or a petrol. The car will require an MOT each year. It requires an MOT not necessarily just because of how it runs. It could be an extremely inefficient car and still pass the MOT. However, if the car releases too many toxic emissions into the atmosphere it could fail.

The only thing you need to remember is that if you wish to drive your car on UK roads, it will need an MOT.

If you’re concerned that you will not remember to check the status of your car or perhaps you’re certain you will have lost your MOT certificate in a year. You can sign up for a reminder online through GOV.uk. If you are opting in for a car you will get your reminder one month before your MOT is due. If you wish to opt-in for a reminder for a bus, lorry or larger vehicle you will get it two months before it’s due. This means that you can set up this reminder for your personal vehicle and any other work vehicles you may have.

What if I don’t want to drive my car?

If you don’t wish to drive your car, that doesn’t mean that you simply allow your MOT to expire. You will need to declare it as SORN. This stands for Statutory Off Road Notification. It’s basically your legal declaration to the DVLA that you are not driving the car. You will not need to pay for it as a SORN vehicle, but you do need to declare it otherwise you could end up with a fine.

That’s everything you need to know about when your MOT is due. Check the date on your current certificate and if you’re unsure of where it is, you can always check online at the GOV website by entering your car’s registration number. Set up a reminder through the GOV website so you never forget your MOT date again. Remember to book your MOT test date as soon as possible, you don’t want to get caught out on the roads without one.

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