How To Check When Your MOT Is Due

Your MOT test is probably one of the most important bits of car maintenance that you need to get done on your car – if you don’t get it tested by a particular date, you’ll be breaking the law.

That means that if you forget when your MOT is due, you could be in line for some hefty penalties.

I’ve come up with this little guide about how to check when your MOT is due, so you can stay on the right side of the law.

How often do I need to have an MOT?

When you’re leasing a car, it’s usually brand new and fresh out of the factory, so you won’t actually have to MOT every year to begin with. This is because cars under three years old are exempt

It all changes when your car hits the big ‘3 years old’ though.

Once your car reaches the three year anniversary of it being first registered, it’ll need to have an MOT test carried out every year.

What happens if I don’t MOT my car?

Bad things. Very bad things. If you don’t get your MOT completed on your car you set yourself up for all sorts of hassle from the police and the DVLA.

It’s illegal to drive a car with an expired MOT or no MOT, unless you’re driving it to a test centre to get MOT’d. If you’re pulled over by the police, you’ll have to provide proof that you’re actually on your way to the centre, rather than just trying to blag your way out of the situation.

You can be fined up to £1,000 if you’re found to be driving a car without an MOT, and the car can also be impounded.

How to find out when MOT is due?

There are a number of websites on the internet you can use to find out when your MOT is due. Most of them just pull data off of the UK Government’s one though, which is the most comprehensive one and the ‘official’ tool to use.

1. Look at your paperwork.

How to find out your MOT date if your car is under three years old

Check the documents you were given when you first leased (or bought) your car! Look for the registration date and just add three years to this. So if you car was first registered on 1st March 2018, your first MOT would be due on 1st March 2021.   

How to find out your MOT date is your car is over three years old

If you’ve had a car since it was first registered, and for over three years, you should have a good idea of when it’s MOT is due by now – you easily get into a rhythm of roughly knowing when the car needs to be tested by.

That said, it is pretty easy to forget the exact date that it’s due for the test though. Your previous VT20 MOT Certificate will give you the date that it was previously tested on, so it’s just a matter of adding one year to this.

If you can’t be bothered to wade through paperwork though, the easiest way to check when your MOT is due is to use the Government’s ‘Check MOT History’ online tool, which we talk about below!

2. Use the Government’s ‘MOT History’ tool online

This tool is probably the most versatile one out there, giving you exact details about the MOT tests carried out on your car. You can use it to work out when your next test is due. It’s relatively simple to use – you just input the car’s registration number, hit enter and you’ll be given details about the car, including when it’s road tax and current MOT expires. From this you can obviously work out when the next MOT is due. The tool only works for cars registered in England, Scotland or Wales since 2005 though (Sorry, Northern Ireland).