How soon before expiry can I get an MOT?

How soon an MOT test can be done before the current one expires is one of the most common questions we are asked.

You can bring a vehicle for a test any time you like, but the timing could affect the next expiry date. Dates are set by the MOT computer; we cannot manually set the date under any circumstances.

* To keep the current expiry date

You can get the vehicle tested up to one calendar month before the existing MOT expires. For example, if the current MOT expires on 22nd October, you can come in from 23rd September to 22nd October and still have that 22nd October expiry date next year. (Exceptions may apply after a retest – see below.)

* To change the expiry date

Perhaps you want to move the MOT date to another time of year to make it more convenient for you, or to sell the vehicle with a full 12 month MOT? That’s not a problem – if the vehicle is tested outside of that last calendar month, the date will reset automatically.

So, if your current MOT expires on 22nd October but the vehicle was tested on 4th March, your expiry date would become 3rd March (the day before it was tested).

* After a retest

10 working days are allowed for a retest after an MOT fail – again, this is set by the MOT computer and we cannot override it. In real terms that’s two weeks, since weekends are not counted (neither are bank holidays, if one of those falls within those 10 days).

If your retest falls before your current MOT expiry date, you keep the old date for next time.

For a retest after that date, you will find the expiry date has moved. Let’s assume your MOT expires on 22nd October, the vehicle fails its test on 20th October and your repairs and retest are not completed until 26th October. You’ve passed the original expiry date so it’s now reset to 25th October (the day before it was retested).

That’s why we recommend booking in with a couple of weeks or more to spare. If you do go over the current expiry date, you are driving without an MOT. The latest DVSA advice on driving a failed vehicle can be found at www.gov.uk/getting-an-mot/after-the-test.

* Checking your expiry date

You can now check this online, anytime. Road tax information for the vehicle can be found here too.
See www.vehicleenquiry.service.gov.uk. If you call us to check the date, we will only use the same information that you can find on that link.

* Replacement certificates

We can produce a replacement for a lost or damaged certificate, but they will cost you £5 each. If you simply need to know the expiry date, use the link above. Or, if you want to know what the fail/advisories were for a a vehicle, key in the registration at www.gov.uk/check-mot-history.