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MOT - Frequently Asked Questions

Owning a vehicle comes with many responsibilities, one of them is ensuring that your MOT is up to date.


If you’ve found yourself doing online searches for an ‘MOT near me’, look no further - Colwills Garage is your one-stop-shop for MOTs, car servicing and repairs!


Here at Colwills in Bude, we are an approved test centre able to perform standard Class 4 MOTs as well as Class 7 MOTs for light commercial vehicles.


If you are unsure about when your MOT is due or anything else, give us a call today, and our team will run through your options! Below are some frequently asked questions regarding MOTs.


What is an MOT?


An MOT, or Ministry of Transport test, is a mandatory legal requirement for all vehicles used on the road. During such a test, one of our team will check your car, ensuring that all aspects meet the appropriate safety and environmental requirements.


When is My MOT Due?


After the third anniversary of your car’s registration, you must get an MOT test every year.


Once your vehicle passes its test, you will receive a certificate. This lasts for one year and will need to be renewed within a month of the expiration date.


If you continue to drive your vehicle on the road after your certificate has expired, you can be fined up to £1000. Unlike with road tax, you will not receive a reminder of when your next MOT is due - keeping on top of the annual test will be your responsibility.


If you are unsure exactly when your last test was, you can access the government database that holds MOT histories.


What Happens if My MOT has Already Expired?


If you continue to drive a vehicle without a valid MOT certificate, you are doing so against the law. The only exception to this is if you are driving to an authorised test centre to have your MOT test performed.


However, you must be able to give evidence of a pre-booked test if you are ever pulled over in this case.



What Should I Check Before an MOT?


Failing an MOT is something that happens to millions of drivers every year and can often come down to simple things you can check yourself.


Before taking your car in, you can perform quick maintenance checks of basic things like the condition of light bulbs, tyres, wiper blades, mirrors and seat belts to ensure there aren’t any nasty surprises during the test. Any faults with these kinds of things can often be fixed before the MOT.


You should also remove any stickers or dangling decorations that could be deemed to obstruct the view of the road.


What is the Difference Between an MOT and a Car Service?


As already stated, an MOT is a legal requirement, whereas a service is not.


During an MOT, your car will be checked to ensure everything meets the legal standard - an MOT is all about testing if your car is roadworthy and safe to drive.


In a service, general condition is checked to test whether all components are working at their absolute best.


To find out about car servicing at Colwills, check out our blog on what happens in a full car service.


What is Checked in an MOT?


As an MOT is designed to ensure your car meets various legal requirements, the tests themselves are thorough and will check all of your vehicle’s essential safety aspects.


A Class 4 MOT will always include the thorough inspection of:


  • Lights and electrics

  • Steering and tyres

  • Brakes and suspension

  • Exhaust system

  • Body and structure

  • Driver's view and seatbelts


What Do I Need to Bring for My MOT?


You won’t need to bring anything to the garage aside from the vehicle itself!


We can access all the relevant details through our databases. Just come along to the garage, and we will take care of the rest.


How Long Does an MOT Take?


Usually, an MOT test will take between 45 minutes and an hour.


What Happens if I Fail an MOT?


If your car fails its MOT and is unable to meet the safety and environmental requirements, you will not be able to drive it on public roads.


If you are issued with a refusal of MOT certificate, you will have to have the necessary work or repairs made to your vehicle before it can be deemed roadworthy again.


Here at Colwills, our expert team is equipped to provide a range of repair services, ensuring you can get safely back on the road as soon as possible. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch to find out how we could help!


What are the Reasons for MOT Failure?


As mentioned before, many MOT failures will come down to simple things that should be part of your general maintenance checklist. This includes things like blown bulbs or tyre condition.


We will be able to make these fixes for you at the garage. If your vehicle fails because of more extensive issues, we will go over the repair options with you.


Which Vehicles are Exempt From an MOT?


Although in most cases, MOTs are a legal requirement for road-using vehicles, there are some exemptions.


Cars that were built more than 40 years ago will not need the standard annual test. However, owners of these kinds of cars are still required to maintain them and ensure they remain in a roadworthy condition.



If you’re due for an MOT test, why not book an appointment with Colwills Garage today with our online booking service? We are a family-run business dedicated to ensuring our customers and their cars receive the best service possible.


If you have any further queries about your MOT, get in touch with our friendly team, who will be happy to answer any and all questions!


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