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An interim service helps to maintain the performance and efficiency of your vehicle. Regular maintenance is important for prolonging the lifespan of a vehicle and reducing the need for repairs. Because of this, vehicles with a regular service history can often be deemed more desirable by used vehicle buyers and therefore they may retain a higher resale value. This type of service is typically required if you're vehicle covers a high amount of mileage annually (the UK national average is approx. 8,000 miles per year) but as every vehicle is different, you should always refer to your manufacturer's handbook for guidance on what type of service your vehicle requires.
A full service will typically include all of the same checks that are performed during an interim service, plus additional checks to help ensure your vehicle is safe for you and other road users. Most vehicles will require a full service at least once per year, but as every vehicle is different, you should always refer to your manufacturer's handbook for guidance on what type of service your vehicle requires.
When should I get an MOT?
The MOT test checks that your vehicle meets road safety and environmental standards. You must get an MOT for your vehicle by either:
- The third anniversary of its registration
- The anniversary of its last MOT, if it's over 3 years old
Some vehicles need to be tested at one year old, such as Ambulances, Taxis, or Private Passenger Vehicles with more than 8 seats.
Please note, that you can be fined up to £1,000 for driving a vehicle without a valid MOT.
What's the earliest I can get an MOT?
An MOT lasts for a year. The date it runs out is printed on the last pass certificate. You can get an MOT for up to a month (minus a day) before it runs out and keep the same renewal date.
My MOT has run out, what can I do?
You can't drive your vehicle on the road if the MOT has run out. You can be prosecuted if caught.
The only exceptions are to drive it:
- To or from somewhere to be repaired
- To a pre-arranged MOT test
How does an MOT work?
During the MOT, important parts on your vehicle will be checked to make sure they meet the legal standards.
You can watch the test from a viewing area but you're not allowed to interrupt the tester.
The test does not cover the condition of the engine, clutch, or gearbox.
For more information on which parts of your vehicle are tested, visit gov.uk/topic/mot/manuals
What happens if my MOT fails?
Your vehicle can either pass or fail the MOT. If it fails, you'll get a list of things that need to be fixed.
Passing the MOT
If your vehicle passes the MOT:
- You'll get an MOT certificate from the test center
- It will be recorded in the MOT database
The MOT certificate will show the mileage recorded at the current and previous 3 test passes. This is shown as the 'odometer reading and history'.
Report any mistakes with the latest reading to the MOT center within 7 days. They will give you a replacement certificate.
Mistakes on an earlier mileage can't be changed.
Failing the MOT
If your vehicle fails the MOT:
- You'll get a 'refusal of an MOT test certificate' from the test center
- It will be recorded in the MOT database
You can appeal the result if you think it's wrong.
Driving a vehicle that's failed
You must not drive the vehicle on the road if it fails the test, even if the MOT hasn't run out, except to:
- Have the failed defects fixed
- A pre-arranged MOT test appointment
You can be fined up to £2,500, be banned from driving, and get 3 penalty points for driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition.
Is my vehicle exempt from MOT?
You don't need to get an MOT for a vehicle that hasn't reached the age its first MOT is needed.
Other vehicles that don't need an MOT include:
- Cars and motorcycles made before 1960
- Goods vehicles powered by electricity
A list of exempt types of vehicles is on form V112. You need to fill in the form if your vehicle is listed so that you can tax it.