When life gets busy, it can be difficult to find the time for an MOT test. Luckily, an MOT usually won’t take more than a couple of hours to complete.  

The time it takes to carry out an MOT can vary depending on whether your vehicle passes or fails the test. 

Read on and find out how long an MOT takes, how long your MOT is valid for, and how you can prepare your vehicle for an upcoming test.  


How Long Does an MOT Take?

An MOT test usually takes between 45 and 60 minutes to complete. If you choose to book an MOT and a service together, this can take up to 4 hours. 

That being said, the make and model of the vehicle can have an effect on how long the MOT will take.  

Newer cars don’t take just as long as older cars. Older cars can take longer as there may be additional wear and tear to address.  

If your car passes, you may even be able to drive away from the garage an hour after the appointment.  


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Of course, the more issues that the tester finds, the longer the MOT will take.  

When your car has been well-maintained with regular servicing, the MOT can take less time to complete.

You may have to wait a bit if the garage you book with has several MOTs booked in on the same day, or a limited number of ramps available.  You can expect to be without your vehicle at least half the day.

Best to ask the technicians when you drop your vehicle off for a rough idea of how long you will be without your car.  


Will an MOT Take Longer If My Car Fails?

If your vehicle fails its MOT, then it may need to stay at the garage for a few days whilst the necessary repair work is carried out.  

Any major or dangerous faults must be rectified, and then the vehicle must be retested before a MOT certificate can be issued.  

Make sure that you keep any paperwork relating to the repairs, as this can be useful for prospective buyers if you ever plan on selling your car.  


How Long Do I Have to Get My Car Retested?

An MOT retest is a partial test which takes place after the initial test. It usually doesn’t take as long as the full test.  

If your car fails its MOT, you will be issued with a VT30 form – which is essentially a document stating the refusal of a full MOT certificate.  

The form will explain the necessary repairs your vehicle needs to be driven again. 

If you need a partial MOT retest, you should leave your vehicle at the garage to be repaired and retested within 10 working days.

Many garages offer discounted or free MOT retests when you have the repairs done at the same garage as your MOT.  

You can also take your car away for repairs. Provided you return it by the end of the next working day, then you may be eligible for a free retest.  

However, please know that you will only be able to drive the vehicle away for repairs if the failed MOT did not highlight any dangerous faults.  

If a dangerous fault was found, you will need to arrange for the car to be towed to a repair garage, as it cannot legally be driven in this state. 

Remember, if you do not drive your vehicle away for repairs and return it to the MOT test centre for a retest within the 10 working days, then you will need to pay for another full MOT test.  


What If My Car Fails the MOT Retest?

Whilst it is unlikely to happen, if your car fails its MOT test again, then you will need to have the necessary repairs carried out and the vehicle will need to be tested once more.  

You should talk this through with a professional mechanic – especially if your vehicle has failed on the same faults as last time.  


How Long Does an MOT and Full Service Take?

When booked together, an MOT and full service can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours to complete.

A garage’s ability to carry out both services on the same day will depend on their workload, the availability of ramps, and whether or not they have the spare parts required for certain repairs.  


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MOT, Full Service


How Can I Prepare My Car for Its Test?

Some of the most common reasons for MOT failure include faulty lighting, incorrect tyre pressure, and issues with the brakes. 

By carrying out a pre-MOT check in advance of an upcoming test, you can give your vehicle a better chance of passing.

Whilst you can perform this check yourself by referring to an MOT checklist, a professional mechanic can carry out this inexpensive visual inspection for you. 

You can book a pre-MOT check and MOT test together using our booking tool.  


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How Long Is MOT Valid?

An MOT is valid for a year.

Once your car passes its MOT, it will not need another test for a year.  

Your certificate expires 1 year on, on the same day that the car passed its MOT.  

Be sure to make a note on your phone or calendar for around the week it expires, so that you always have a valid MOT certificate.  

Your MOT will run out at midnight on the expiry date. 

There is no 14-day grace period as some people believe.

Even booking a test on the expiry date can get you in trouble if you are stopped by the police and can’t prove that you are on your way to a pre-booked MOT.  

You can book up to a month – minus a day – in advance of the expiry date if you want to keep the same date for the next year.  

For example, if your MOT is due on May 31st, you can book between May 2nd and May 30th to keep the same date. 


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When Is My MOT Due?

You can find out when your MOT runs out by checking the gov.uk website. Checking the MOT history of your car can tell you other details about previous tests, such as: 

  • If the vehicle passed or failed 
  • The mileage when it was tested 
  • The date of the test 
  • Any failures or minor issues reported 
  • When your next MOT is due 

Alternatively, if you want to easily check when your next MOT is due, you can use our handy free MOT checker.  

On BookMyGarage, you can compare prices in your local area by entering your reg plate and postcode into the booking tool below.  

Browse local garages and compare them by price, distance, availability and ratings to find the best garage to perform your MOT.  


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We hope that you have enjoy learning how long an MOT can take to complete. 

If you would like to learn more about MOT testing, why not find out which documents you need to take with you to an MOT?



Can an MOT Take All Day?

Do You Have to Sit and Wait for an MOT to be Completed?

Do I Need to Take Old MOT Certificates with Me to the Test?