10 Things You Need To Know About Getting An MOT

24 Posted: 24th Nov 2020
10 Things You Need To Know About Getting An MOT

An MOT test is a mandatory test of your vehicle that takes place once a year and is designed to make sure that it complies with road safety and environmental standards set by the government. Are you a bit rusty on your MOT knowledge? Find out all you need to know with the help of this handy guide.

  • Does My Car Need An MOT?

    If you're buying a car from new then you won't need to worry about having an MOT carried out until the third anniversary of the vehicle's original registration comes around. Once a vehicle is three years old, the law states that you need to have a qualified mechanic carry out an MOT test every 12 months.

    What Happens If I Forget?

    As the driver of a vehicle it is your responsibility to check that the car is roadworthy and meets all the necessary legal standards before getting behind the wheel. It's worth remembering that if you are pulled over by the police and found to be driving a vehicle that does not have a current MOT certificate you'll be liable for a fine of up to £1,000.

    Do I Have An MOT Already?

    If staying on top of paperwork isn't your strong point and you're not quite sure when your MOT anniversary is due to come around again, don't worry as it's simple to check online. The DVSA's website will allow you to check on the current status of a car, as long as you know the registration number of the vehicle and its make.

    If you're an existing Pentagon customer automatically we'll remind you annually when your MOT test is due.

    Help – I've Lost My Certificate

    Again, if you're not in the habit of putting you vehicle's paperwork away safely, there's no need to panic. A lost test certificate isn't the end of the world and you won't need to have a new test carried out if your current one is still valid. You can go to any MOT test centre to request a replacement certificate if your last one has been lost or damaged. All you'll need is the vehicle registration number and either the original MOT test number or the V5C document reference number found on your V5C registration certificate. 

    What's Involved In A MOT Test?

    It's important to understand that an MOT is not the same thing as a vehicle service. The MOT test checks that a vehicle meets the legal road safety and environmental standards. It does not take into account general mechanical condition, including the state of parts like the engine, clutch and gearbox. Instead, an MOT looks at structural integrity and for signs of excessive corrosion.

    The car's seatbelts, lights and windscreen wipers will be checked, along with tyre tread and exhaust emissions. The fuel system will be inspected for leaks and any tow bars will be tested too. You can find out more about what is included in an MOT inspection by visiting the MOT section of the Pentagon website.  

    Your MOT Anniversary

    The law states that most vehicles over a certain age must have an MOT carried out once a year. This doesn't mean you need to wait until the anniversary of your car's MOT comes around before you can bring it in for work. If you have concerns about any aspect of your vehicle then it's always better to address them straight away. Even if there are no issues of concern you are still able to bring your car in to be tested up to a month (minus a day) before the current certificate expires. Your MOT anniversary will be preserved and you'll have the same renewal date the following year.

    Can I Drive A Car Without An MOT?

    As stated above, driving a vehicle without a valid MOT certificate is against the law and you could find yourself hit with a fine of up to £1,000. It's worth noting however that there are certain circumstances where this is permitted. One is if you're driving your car to an MOT centre for a test. It needs to be pre-booked, so you have proof if you do get pulled over by the police on your way there. You are also permitted to drive an untested car directly to or from a location to be repaired.

    Is An MOT The Only Maintenance I Need To Worry About?

    It would be incredibly convenient if cars only threw up problems when their annual MOT inspection and service was about to come around, but unfortunately that's not the case. Staying on top of maintenance issues is the best way to save money and make sure that small mechanical problems don't snowball into larger headaches. Getting concerns addressed is also as much about staying safe on the road as it is about saving cash. Also remember that as a driver you have a legal responsibility to only drive a vehicle that's in a roadworthy condition – irrespective of its MOT status.

    How Do I Find An Approved Testing Centre?

    Every garage that performs MOT testing needs to be authorised to do so by the Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency. It's easy to check whether a testing centre has been approved, just look for the official MOT sign, a blue square containing three connected white triangles. All Pentagon Service Centres are authorised to complete MOT work.

    How Do I Book?

    Bring your vehicle to a Pentagon Service Centre for its annual MOT test and discover how simple the process can really be. You can book your vehicle in for a service, MOT test or repair online as well as over the phone or via our live chat facility.


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