What happens at an MOT


Most vehicles that are 3 years old or more are required by law to undergo a Ministry of Transport (MOT) test. The test must then be carried out every year to ensure that all the safety critical components are in good condition and are not excessively worn.

In addition to the safety checks the vehicle will also be given an emissions test to ensure that the levels of carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons in the exhaust are at acceptable levels. If the vehicle fails any of these tests then you will not be issued with an MOT certificate and you will have to get the relevant components replaced before it can be re-tested.

Anyone who owns a vehicle must ensure that it has a valid MOT certificate and it is their responsibility to get it booked in for a test at a registered test centre every year before the certificate expires.

Driving a vehicle without a valid MOT certificate could make you liable to prosecution. Your insurance company may also take a dim view if you do not have a current MOT certificate. You will also not be able to purchase a new tax disc without producing a valid MOT certificate and an insurance certificate.

With the advent of ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) systems, the police can now automatically check that all your vehicles documents are in order by comparing your number plate against various databases, so it's wise to ensure that your MOT is up to date.

At the MOT test your vehicle will be subjected to the following checks:-
  • Vehicle identification number - a vehicle identification number must be permanently displayed and legible on any vehicle first used on or after 1 August 1980

  • Registration plate - condition, security, legibility and format of letters/numbers

  • Lights - condition, operation, security and correct colour. The aim of the headlights will also be checked.

  • Steering and suspension - correct condition and operation

  • Wipers and washers - operate to give the driver a clear view of the road

  • Windscreen - condition and drivers view of the road

  • Horn - correct operation and type

  • Seatbelts - all seatbelts installed are checked for type, condition, operation and security. All compulsory seatbelts must be in place

  • Seats - front seats secure. Front and rear seats can be secured in the upright position

  • Fuel system - no leaks, fuel cap fastens correctly and seals securely. The fuel cap will need to be opened. Make sure the key is available

  • Exhaust emissions - vehicle meets exhaust emission standards. These will vary on the age and fuel type of the vehicle

  • Exhaust system - complete, secure, without leaks and silences effectively

  • Vehicle structure - free from excessive corrosion or damage in specific areas. No sharp edges

  • Doors - open and close. Latch securely in closed position. Front doors should open from inside and outside the vehicle. Rear doors may need to be opened to gain access to testable items

  • Mirrors - presence, condition and security

  • Wheels and tyres - condition, security, tyre size and type, and tread depth. Spare tyres are not tested

  • Brakes - condition, operation and performance (efficiency test). Suitable vehicles will be tested on a rolling road tester. Vehicles such as those with permanent 4-wheel drive will be tested either on a suitable road using a properly calibrated and maintained decelerometer or, if one is installed at the test station, a plate brake tester

If you are not happy with the results of an MOT test you should discuss it with the garage technician who carried it out and ask them to explain exactly why it failed.

If you are still not happy with the outcome then you can get an appeal form either from the garage or from VOSA (Vehicle and Operator Services Agency) and send it back within 14 days of your MOT taking place, along with payment for another test. They will organise a re-test for you and if your appeal is upheld they will refund the money to you. If have any repairs made to your vehicle before the re-test this will probably invalidate your appeal.

Call us now on 02392 484 244 for free help and advice from one of our experienced claims advisors.


No need to claim on your insurance

Anyone who has been involved in a road accident has the right to choose who repairs their vehicle. If you were responsible for the accident you were involved in, the company that insures your vehicle would normally deal with your accident claim.

However if you were not at-fault for the accident, you can choose to either claim on your own insurance policy or make a claim independently of your insurer. To find out more call 02392 484 244 and we will be happy to help.

We and our partners help thousands of people make independent accident claims. Our service enables motorists to get the help and assistance they need to resolve their accident related issues, with the costs being recovered directly from the at-fault driver on your behalf.

No excess to pay

Unfortunately even if an accident was not your fault, your insurer will almost certainly require you to pay your excess before any repair is started on your car.

This money should of course be recovered by an insurer at a later date, but with our service - you do not have to pay it at all.

By using our independent claims service, you are not making a claim on your insurance policy and so you will have no excess to pay.

Receive a like-for-like replacement hire vehicle

Not all insurance policies will include a replacement hire-car for you to use if yours is damaged and unroadworthy. In fact it is typically an 'optional extra' on your policy.

Other policies may offer a 'courtesy car' but this is often just a 'basic' saloon or hatchback which may not be suitable for your needs.

Car Call and its partners will provide a like-for-like replacement vehicle as part of our service. This means we will endeavour to supply a hire-vehicle that similar to your own in terms of its type, make and engine size.

So whether you drive a small hatchback or a prestige sports car, we will look to provide a similar hire-vehicle that suits your needs.

Manufacturer approved vehicle repairs

If you have been involved in a car accident, the last thing you want to have to worry about is the quality of the repairs to your car. We have a UK wide network of partner approved Accident Repair Centres available to all of our customers.

Many of our accident repair centres are have manufacturer approvals for specific brands, so if you require a manufacturer approved repair centre, simply tell your personal claim handler and they will ensure your vehicle goes to an approved repairer.

Want you vehicle repaired by a specific garage? No problem, we can alternatively use a repairer that you specify.

Legal Assistance

Our partner solicitors provide legal assistance as part of our service. They specialise in motor claims related issues, so you can be assured of the best possible advice and assistance.

They issues they can assist you with include:

  • Recovery of the cost of the replacement hire-vehicle
  • Recovery of the cost of uplifting your damaged vehicle
  • Recovery of all repair costs
  • Recovery of the cost of damaged of personal items
  • Seeking financial compensation for an injury