When to Get an MOT Test

The MOT test checks that your vehicle meets road safety and environmental standards.

You must get an MOT for your vehicle by either –

  • the third anniversary of its registration
  • the anniversary of its last MOT, if it’s over 3 years old

Some vehicles need to be tested at one year old – check the MOT class to see which.

You can be fined up to £1,000 for driving a vehicle without a valid MOT!

Earliest date to get an MOT

An MOT lasts for a year. The date it runs out is printed on your MOT pass certificate.

When can you get an MOT?

You can get an MOT up to a month (minus a day) before it runs out and keep the same renewal date.
For Example: If your MOT runs out on 17 August, the earliest you can get an MOT to keep the same renewal date for next year is 18 July.

Can you get an MOT early?

You can get an MOT earlier, but the renewal date for the following year will change to one year (minus a day) from the date the vehicle last passed its MOT.
For example: Your MOT is due to run out on 17 August, so the earliest you can get it done is 18 July. However, you take your vehicle for its MOT on 14 July and it passes. This means that the MOT expiry date changes to 13 July the following year.

If your MOT has run out

It is illegal to drive your vehicle on the road if your MOT has run out. You can be prosecuted if caught.

The only exceptions to driving it are:

  • to or from somewhere to be repaired
  • to a pre-arranged MOT test

There are different rules and processes in Northern Ireland for MOTs for vehicles registered in Northern Ireland.

Find an MOT testing station

Use our online resource Auto Checkup to find a local garage that is approved to test your class of vehicle.