If you have never taken a vehicle in for its MOT before, or if you haven’t done so for a while, it is a good idea to read up about the process before you go in to make sure that you know what to expect.
You don’t have to take the car to the MOT test centre yourself if you can’t manage to find time to do so before the current MOT expires. Anyone can present the car to the garage for its MOT, but they can only drive it if they are insured to do so.
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Where you have to park when you get to the test centre will depend entirely on the garage you have selected to carry out the MOT for you. If you made an appointment by phone or over the internet, you should have been given instructions on where to leave your car. If you can’t remember what the garage told you, or if you can’t find the correct place, just leave your car in a safe place which isn’t blocking anyone else and go and ask in the office.
When should I arrive?
As with other appointments, it is always recommended to arrive 10 minutes early. If you arrive late then you may lose your time slot. This could mean that you would have to re-schedule an appointment for another day, which might be inconvenient, especially if you do not have long before your MOT expires. Depending on the policy of the particular garage, you might also have to pay all or part of the fee if you miss your appointment. If you think that you might be late, it is always a good idea to let the garage know as soon as possible as they may be able to push your time slot back if they know in advance.
Tips for the day
- Don’t over-exert your engine. One of the vital tests of the Mot is to check that your engine is running at a normal temperature. Don’t push your vehicle too hard on the way to the test centre or it could give false results.
- Don’t assume that adverse weather conditions will automatically cancel your test. MOTs can usually be carried out whatever the weather. If it looks like you may have a problem getting your car to the test centre then you should ring up as soon as possible to arrange another date for the appointment.
- If you think that there is a good chance that your vehicle will fail its MOT, try to plan for having your car out of action for a few days. Planning alternative transport arrangements in advance can make it less inconvenient to have your car off the road temporarily.
- Your car will not fail its MOT for being untidy inside. It will make the mechanics’ job easier if they have room to work in but try not to get too stressed about how the interior of the car looks.
Be aware that the centre’s management can choose your vehicle to be randomly subjected to a recheck. This is just to make sure that all of the MOT tests at that centre are being carried out to the same standard. If your vehicle is selected for a recheck the result of the test is unlikely to change, but be aware that it could do.
After the test
If your vehicle passes the MOT test then you will be issued with a certificate which can be used for tax purposes. You should make a note of when the MOT expires so that you can be prepared well in advance for the next test. Keep the certificate in a safe place unless you need it to pay road tax, for insurance purposes or if you decide to sell the vehicle.
If your vehicle fails the MOT then you will be issued with a document which will state exactly why this judgement has been passed. The document will tell you all of the things which need to be done in order for your car to pass its test. It will also tell you how long you have in order to have these repairs made. This is all of the information you will need in order to be able to book your car in at any garage to have the repairs made. You do not have to have the car fixed at the same garage which carried out the original MOT.
What if I’m not happy with the result?
If you disagree with the outcome of your MOT then you should start by discussing it with the centre manager. If you are still unhappy once you have spoken to them then you can lodge an appeal within 14 days of the test date. Any MOT test centre should hold copies of the appeal forms and you can call the DVA’s helpline on 0845 601 4094 if you have any questions or need any help.
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