If you have purchased a brand new car, then you may not know when you need to book it in for its first MOT. 

MOT rules are slightly different for new cars than for other cars.

Whilst the majority of cars require an annual MOT every year, all new cars have 3 years until they need their first MOT test. 


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When Do New Cars Need an MOT?

All new cars have 3 years until they will require their first MOT test.

Once this 3 year time period is up, the vehicle will then need an MOT once a year, every year.

Bear in mind that the vehicle's first MOT must be completed by the third anniversary of the car’s registration, rather than the date you first received it.

For example, if your registration is the 1st Jan 2024, then your new car's first MOT must be completed by the 1st Jan 2027.

New cars are usually registered by the forecourt dealer for the owner or keeper, with a V5C registration document or log book being sent to them. 

Certain vehicles - such as taxis and ambulances - will need an MOT after just 1 year


When Should You Book an MOT for Your New Car?

You should arrange your MOT appointment close to the third anniversary of your vehicle registration.

Registration plates are released in March and September every year, leading to an increase in demand for new cars during this period.

Demand for MOTs increases during these months as a result, which is why we recommend that you book your MOT for an earlier month if you can.

You may wish to have your MOT carried out in February or August to beat the MOT rush.

Going forward, you should count the 12 month period from the date indicated on your MOT test certificate to determine when to book your next MOT.

Each new MOT certificate which you are issued with will have a new expiry date, and is valid for 12 months after the vehicle passes its MOT. 


Why Are New Cars MOT Tested After 3 Years?

It is generally accepted that brand new cars remain roadworthy for the first 36 months of use.

When this period expires, the vehicle must have a valid MOT by law. 

Driving a car without a valid MOT certificate is illegal and could result in hefty fines, or even the cancellation of your car insurance.


How Long Does an MOT Last on a New Car?

An MOT lasts for a year, with MOT certificates expiring 12 months from the date of the test. 


How Can I Prepare for an MOT Test?

To give your vehicle the best chance of passing the MOT test, there are a few key checks you should carry out.

You should check the condition of the following components if your car is due an MOT test:

  • Brake fluid
  • Mirrors
  • Dashboard warning lights
  • Tyres
  • Front and rear lights
  • Oil levels
  • Windscreen
  • Windscreen wipers

Please note that if your car doesn't have enough oil, the MOT tester won't be able to check your emissions. 

Look for any chips or scratches in the windscreen that could obscure your view, and have these fixed before the test. 

Any damage or wear to your tyres should be addressed ahead of an upcoming MOT test, too. 

If any lights are illuminated on your dashboard, you should have this checked by a professional mechanic. 

You may even wish to book a pre-MOT test to ensure your vehicle is ready for an upcoming test. 


Don't know your vehicle registration?