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Help! I Don't Know My MOT Date!

If your car is under 3 years old...

(Or if you are not sure how old your car is)

Your car's first MOT test is required when it reaches three years old and then every year after that.

You can be aware of your car's age, and whether it is approaching its first MOT, from looking at the number plate:

The 'new style' number plates were introduced in September 2001. The 3rd and 4th digit are a clue to which year, and which part of the year the car was first registered.
The fourth digit tells you the year that this range of number plates came out. In this example, '2' (or 02) for 2002. New registrations are issued in March and September.
Between 2001 and 2010, the March registrations had a '0' as their third digit. And in September the third digit was a '5.' So '52' means after September 2002, and before March 2003.
From 2010, the March registrations were given a '1' instead of a '0' as their third digit, and the September registrations were given a '6' instead of a '5.' So '12' is after March 2012 and before September 2012, (which has the registration '62.')

If your car was registered between March and September, the number plate gives away the year in which you need your first test. The MOT will usually be due in the same month as first registration.

The V5C form, often called the 'logbook,' is the better way to look up exactly when your car was first registered, and therefore when the first MOT is due. It will tell you the month and year of first registration:

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The V5C has changed over the years. The current version is red.

If your car is already over 3 years old...

If the car has been tested before, you can find the last MOT date (and the next date, which is 1 year later) on the MOT certificate:

MOT certificates have changed over the years too. The latest versions are plain white.

Early MOTs

MOTs can be conducted up to 1 month early without you losing any of the last certificate's cover period.

For example, if an MOT test was completed on 02/01/2013 then the next MOT can be take on 02/12/2013 (rather than waiting for 02/01/2014). But the new certificate issued on 02/12/2013 won't expire in 12 months on 02/12/2014, it will expire on 02/01/2015.

Early MOT Failure

If you car fails an MOT, but the previous certificate has not expired, the previous certificate is still valid.

Lost or damaged certificates?

If you lose your certificate, or it is damaged, you can obtain a replacement from any MOT garage. You'll need to give the garage the vehicle registration number and either the original MOT test number, or V5C reference number. The maximum fee a garage can charge for a duplicate certificate is £10.

MOT Test Prices

The MOT test fee you will pay depends on the type of vehicle you want to have tested, and the garage you choose to go to. The government agency, VOSA, sets the maximum fee a test centre can charge for different classes of vehicle. These prices and are not subject to VAT.

A garage must not charge you more than these maximum fees, but it can charge you less, as a way to win your business.

Vehicle type Age first MOT needed (years) Fee
Cars (up to 8 passenger seats)
Motor caravans
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