Find out the MOT status of your vehicle - FOR FREE
MOT checks explained
Our free MOT check includes the current MOT expiry date and indicates whether the MOT is valid.
MOT tests are a legal requirement to ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy and meets UK safety and environmental standards.
Driving without a valid MOT is a criminal offence that could land you with a £2,500 fine, three penalty points, and a possible driving ban. It could also invalidate your insurance, leaving you without cover.
A valid MOT is needed to tax a vehicle with the DVLA or to take out insurance for it. If your MOT has expired, any existing insurance may be invalid, which could get messy if you need to make a claim.
If you'd like to find out more about a vehicle's history, use our app to get a free, detailed view of its MOT history, including passes, fails and advisories.
If you’d like a more detailed view, including whether the vehicle has been written off, has outstanding finance and more, take a look at our vehicle history check service.
Unsure when your MOT is due?
If your car is less than three years old, there’s no need for it to have had an MOT yet.
If it’s more than three years old, you can check the MOT status by using our free tool. Just enter the car’s registration number and we’ll tell you the current MOT expiry date.
Some vehicles must have an MOT after their first year. These are limited to a few specific types:
- Ambulances and taxis
- Private passenger vehicles with 9 or more passenger seats
- Play buses.
All vehicles must have an MOT carried out when they’re three years old, and then every year after that. This includes cars, vans, and motorbikes, but certain kinds of vehicles are exempt:
- Cars and motorbikes made before 1981
- Electric goods vehicles registered before 1 March 2015
If the vehicle is over three years old, you’ll need to get an MOT within 12 months of the last MOT date. If you’re not sure when that is, use our MOT checker to find the date.
An MOT is used to test parts of your vehicle to check they meet the minimum legal road safety and environmental standards. It’s not used to service your vehicle or to check its mechanical condition.
MOT tests are carried out on all road legal vehicles, including cars, vans, motorbikes, taxis etc, unless a vehicle is exempt.
An MOT should only be carried out by a properly licensed MOT tester at an approved test centre displaying a blue sign with three white triangles.
As part of the test the following will be inspected:
- Vehicle body and structure
- Any towbars fitted, including the electrical socket
- The fuel system
- Exhaust system and emissions
- Seats and seatbelts
- Doors, bonnet, and mirrors
- Load security (the boot or tailgate)
- Tyres, wheels, and brakes
- Registration plates and vehicle identification number (VIN)
- Lights, horn, and speedometer
- Windscreen, wipers, and washers
- Steering and suspension
- Battery and electrics.
The fine for driving without a valid MOT can be up to £1,000. There are exceptions that allow you to drive to a pre-booked MOT test or drive to or from a garage where your vehicle is being repaired. In this case, if you are stopped by the police, they might ask to see proof of your MOT test appointment.
Sometimes, a vehicle can fail an MOT because of what’s known as a ‘dangerous’ fault. This means it’s risky for you or other road users. Like if its brake lights don’t work, for example. If you choose to drive a vehicle that’s failed an MOT because of a dangerous problem, you can be fined up to £2,500, be banned from driving and get three points on your licence.
Driving without a valid MOT could not only land you with a fine, a driving ban and points on your licence, it also means your insurance may be invalidated.
If your previous MOT certificate is still valid and no dangerous problems were listed in the MOT, you’re able to continue to drive your vehicle until the valid MOT expires. If dangerous problems were found with the vehicle, you’ll need to get it repaired before it can be driven again.
As we mentioned above, if you’re caught driving a vehicle that failed its MOT because of dangerous problems, you could face a large fine, be banned from driving and get points on your licence.
Whether it’s a car, van or motorbike, you can get a free detailed view of your vehicle’s MOT history, including passes, fails and advisories by using our app.
The app is free to use and can help you keep track of your vehicle’s important dates, set MOT reminders and more.