What is Tested?
- Exhaust & Emissions
- Seat Belts
- Bonnet Catch
- Number Plate
- Vehicle Identification Number
- Tyres & Roadwheels
- Fuel System
- Towing Hook
About The MOT
All EC states must comply with a Directive to ensure that vehicles using public roads are mechanically safe and operate within emissions limits. In mainland Britain, cars and light commercial vehicles must be Tested when they are three years old (except for taxis) and annually thereafter (this varies throughout the EC).
The MOT is designed to examine some important safety and emissions aspects of your car's operation to see that they meet certain legal requirements at the time of the Test. Passing the MOT does not indicate that the vehicle will remain roadworthy until the next Test in a year's time. In some Countries the mechanical and emissions Tests are separate. The UK MOT now covers over 150 checks of safety-related and emissions systems.
Following the second world war and into the late 1950s most people purchased second hand cars and light vans, many of which were originally manufactured before 1940 and vast numbers of which were not in ‘tip top’ condition, nor were they regularly serviced. As a result there were numerous vehicles being used on the road which were potentially dangerous. In particular they often had defective brakes, lights and/or steering.
As a result of this, in 1960 the then Ministry of Transport under the direction of the Minister of Transport Mr Ernest Marples decided that all vehicles over ten years old should have their brakes, lights and steering checked every year. This became known as the “ten year Test”, or alternatively the Ministry Of Transport Test – which became shortened to ‘MOT’. The Testable age was progressively reduced to 3 years by April 1967.
Over the years the MOT Test has been extended and expanded to the comprehensive examination which is today’s MOT Test. And the Test is developing all the time. Significantly since the 1990s has been the development of highly sophisticated emissions Testing for vehicles with catalytic converters fitted.
A significant development of the MOT has resulted from Britain being members of the European Union. All vehicle Testing is now decided by EU Directives which set minimum standards for vehicle testing in member states. Each state can, however, decide to install more stringent vehicle Testing regulations in their own domestic regulations under the EU principle of subsidiary. In many EU countries, for example, Testing is carried out every two years – the basic EU minimum, whereas in Britain it is on an annual basis.