When does a new car need its first MOT?

September 29, 2021

MOTs are essential to help keep your car safe, roadworthy and legal. In the UK cars need to have an MOT every year in order to make sure that they are roadworthy.

Driving a vehicle without a valid MOT can result in a fine of up to £1,000, as well as potentially invalidating your car insurance.

In the case of a new car, you only need an MOT after it has been on the road for three years - before it is three years old you are not required to take your car in for testing.

To determine when your vehicle is three years old and requires its first MOT, you will need to refer to the time of registration listed on the vehicle registration documents. So, for example if your car was registered as new on 1 October 2018 then its first MOT will need to be carried out no later than 1 October 2021.

If you have an imported car, however, you may not know the exact registration date. In that case you will need to go by the date of manufacture to calculate when the first MOT is due - taking the year of manufacture and counting three years forward. For example, if the vehicle was manufactured in 2018 then the first MOT has to be done before 31 December 2021

If you have recently purchased a secondhand car then you should refer to the logbook or V5C form of the car which will include details about the car’s registration date. The logbook is a valid document that can be used to prove your car's registration date.

It’s also worth noting that certain types of vehicles, such as taxis, private passenger vehicles and ambulances need to have an MOT every year from registration.

How often do I need to have my car MOT tested again after the first test?

After your car has reached three years of age and has successfully undergone its first MOT test, you are now required to keep up to date with subsequent testing. This has to be done every year, within 12 months of the date listed on your MOT test certificate. 

With each MOT test a new certificate is issued with a new expiry date to keep in consideration - which is usually 12 months from the date of issue.

Why it’s important to check when your MOT is due

There are several reasons why it is important to check your MOT date, whether you have a new car or a used car, including:

It is a legal requirement - Every driver is legally required to get an MOT as this helps keep other road users, passengers, pedestrians and the road infrastructure safe from harm

You are not able to drive without one - If your MOT has expired then you are only allowed to drive to an MOT testing station. If you are stopped by the police and do not have proof of an MOT appointment then your journey will be deemed illegal and you could be liable for a fine.

Fines can reach up to £1,000 - If you are found to be driving without an MOT you could be fined up to £1,000

You have more time to find issues - Knowing when your MOT is due gives you more time to carry out pre-MOT checks to identify any potential issues, potentially helping to save money in the long run.

Find out your vehicles MOT date and potential pass rate today with willitpass.com

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