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MOT (test)


The Ministry of Transport test (more usually: MOT - pronounced by spelling out the letters) is a mandatory annual test of safety and roadworthiness aspects of vehicles over a certain age in the United Kingdom.



The Ministry of Transport test (more usually: MOT - pronounced by spelling out the letters) is a mandatory annual test of safety and roadworthiness aspects of vehicles over a certain age in the United Kingdom.

The name derives from the Ministry of Transport, a former UK Government department, and is still officially in use, although the Ministry of Transport no longer exists under that name, and the MOT test certificates are currently issued under the auspices of the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA), an agency within the Department for Transport.

Many local car repair garages throughout the UK are authorised to perform testing and to issue certificates.


Test classification


The test grades are:

  • Class 1 - Mopeds & Motorcycles up to 199 cc
  • Class 2 - Motorcycles 200 cc and over
  • Class 3 - Tricycles and three wheeled cars
  • Class 4 - Cars, Motor Caravans, Goods vehicles up to 3000 kg gross weight, Minibuses (with no more than 12 passenger seats)
  • Class 5 - Private buses (with more than 12 passenger seats and up to 16)
  • PSV test (Class 6) - Vehicles used for Hire or Reward with more than 16 passenger seats)
  • Class 7 - Goods vehicles (between 3000 kg and 3500 kg in gross weight)
  • HGV test - Applicable to most vehicles over 3500 kg in gross weight.


Rules and regulations

All test Stations are required to display a "VT9A Fees and Appeals" poster on their premises which must be available to the public. It gives information on all test types and information on what to do if a vehicle fails its MOT test.
MOT refers to the inspection itself. The actual designation for the pass certificate is VT20.

It is illegal to drive a non-exempt vehicle that requires a test on public roads without a current MOT, except when driving to or from a pre-booked MOT Test. Possession of an up-to-date MOT test certificate is a pre-requisite for obtaining a tax disc, and advertisements for used cars frequently say how many months are left to run on the current MOT certificate. A vehicle could suffer major damage after an MOT has been carried out but the certificate would still be valid and obtaining a new one is not required under the test regulations (some insurance companies may ask for a new test but this is purely their own policy, not national law).

When a vehicle fails the MOT test it can be re-tested at the same station provided it is returned within a specific time period (regulations state the end of the next working day after the initial test for very minor faults, which are listed on the back of the VT30 failure notice and the VT9A). A free re-test may be offered by the station for marketing purposes.

The MOT is not an alternative to properly servicing and maintaining a vehicle and is by no means a 12 month guarantee of the vehicles roadworthiness. It is important to realise that the MOT test does not cover areas of a vehicle's mechanical condition that are not related to safety or emissions (important features such as the clutch, gear box and the entire engine are not tested). Neither does it determine whether or not after market features fitted are legal for use on the public highway, so a vehicle with a recent MOT certificate could still have major mechanical defects or have features which would deem it illegal to be used on the road.


Fees


In 2006 the fee to have a car (up to 8 passenger seats) tested is specified as £44.15.


All text of this article available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for details).

  
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