An MOT is an important thing as a car owner that you need to factor into your time every year. We lead busy lives, and finding the time for an MOT can be frustrating, so you may be wondering: how long does an MOT take? We’re going to take you through everything you need to know about the time-sensitive issues surrounding your MOT, such as how long it takes, how long it lasts, and how long you have to get it retested.
The average MOT test usually takes between 45 and 60 minutes. Newer cars don’t take quite as long as older cars, so if your car is getting on a bit, you can expect to wait closer to the hour mark. If it passes with flying colours, you may be able to drive away from the garage an hour after your appointment.
However, if it fails and needs some work done, you may have to be prepared to leave it in the garage for a few days whilst the mechanics do the required work. Once your car has been retested - this needs to be within 10 days of the initial MOT or you’ll need another full MOT - your certificate is valid for a whole year.
How Long Does An MOT Take?
The average MOT test takes anywhere between 45 and 60 minutes. However, the age, make and model does have an impact on the time it takes for the mechanic to complete your MOT. If your car is younger than 10 years old, it may not take as long. If it is older, it may be more complex and the mechanic may take slightly longer to complete the MOT.
During an MOT the car has to be hoisted by a ramp, so the mechanic has full visibility of the underneath of the car. If the garage has a list of MOTs booked in on the same day, and a limited number of ramps, there may be a wait time to get your car up and looked at.
It is worth setting a bit more time than an hour aside for your MOT, as there might be a queue. A lot of garages will suggest you drop the vehicle off in the morning, and they will phone you once it is ready for you to come back and get it. This can be useful, so you don’t have to spend all day waiting in a garage waiting room.
What Will The Mechanic Check For?
The MOT takes as long as it does due to the number of things that need to be checked during the test. Checks such as the oil levels and light checks will only take a couple of minutes each, but things such as the suspension, wheels, axles and brakes may take longer.
It is important your MOT is not rushed so that you can ensure that your car is as safe as possible. You wouldn’t want the mechanic to miss an important fault that could put your vehicle at risk. It is always worth the time it takes to get your MOT done.
How Long Will My MOT Last?
If your car passes its MOT, it will not need another test for a year. Your certificate expires on the same day (a year later) that it passed, so it can be helpful to make a note to get it booked in your phone or calendar for around a week before it expires. That’ll give you enough time so you don’t have to worry about driving illegally - driving without a valid MOT could result in points on your licence and a hefty fine, and the risk that your car is unroadworthy.
What Time Does My MOT Expire?
Your MOT will run out at midnight on the expiry date. For example, an MOT due on May 31st will expire at 00:00 that day.
Most importantly, there is no 14-day grace period as some people believe. Even booking a test on the expiration date can land you in hot water if you can't prove you're on your way to a pre-booked appointment (as you'll technically be driving without an MOT). Bear this in mind when booking your MOT.
You can book up to a month, minus a day, in advance of the expiry date to keep the same date for next year. In the example above, this means between May 2nd and May 30th.
How Long Do I Have To Get My Car Retested?
If your car fails its MOT, several things need to happen. You’ll be issued a ‘VT30’ form, which is essentially a document that states the refusal of a full MOT certificate. It will contain the list of things that need to be repaired before your car is able to drive then, you have 10 days to have your car retested. Any longer than that and you’ll need to have a full retest again. If you get the repairs done at the same garage as your MOT, many mechanics may offer a discounted or free retest. The retest doesn’t take as long as the full test, as usually, it is just the aspect that has been repaired that is tested.
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