How early can you get an MOT?

Roman Danaev

MOT01 July 2022

Automobile maintenance and technical inspections are important. However, planned procedures sneak up on us unnoticed. To avoid such situations, you can book a pre-arranged MOT early on, up to one month before the end of the current certificate.

Let's see how long the certificate is valid, when the earliest annual MOT renewal date is, what to do if it expires, and explore other critical issues.

How long is an MOT valid for?

The basic rule is that the MOT certificate is valid for a year after the last test. As a rule, theMOT due date is indicated on the certificate. If you want to prevent the document from being expired and want to save the date, take a new test at least a month before the day indicated.

The earliest date for MOT

Many drivers often look for the earliest MOT date when planning long trips and are aware of the fact that their car has to pass the inspection annually. Unfortunately, it is not possible to take the next MOT test 2 or 3 months earlier than it is due while still keeping the previous expiry date. Without exception, the standard UK validation rules apply: a driver should make a registration 1 month minus 1 day (average 4 weeks or 28-29 days) before the due date to keep their anniversary.

What happens if I MOT my car earlier?

If you are not worried about the certificate extension and you’re OK with getting a new test date, you can MOT your car earlier. The certificate will be valid until the same date next year.

If I take the MOT test early and it fails, can I still drive until the old MOT expires?

If you decide to renew the certificate ahead of schedule, but encounter common MOT fails, then you can still use the car according to the old document (it is legitimate until the expiry date). If dangerous faults are found, you should refrain from driving the car until they are repaired.

If my car fails its MOT, how long do I get for a retest?

If your car fails its MOT, then you will have to wait about ten days to get a new result (actually, 2 weeks if we include weekends). In that case, don't forget to check with the DVSA to learn more about using failed automobiles.

What if my MOT has expired?

Importantly, a driver cannot legally drive a car if the MOT renewal date is past due. However, there are exceptions — an automobile without a current MOT can only be driven to go for repairs or a pre-booked technical inspection.

Is there an MOT expiry grace period?

Many unofficial sources indicate that after the existing MOT is overdue, a grace period of 1-2 weeks begins when the driver is not fined. However, this is a common myth — if the document is overdue for 1 day, 1 week, or 1 calendar month, the driver risks getting points on their licence from the police. Thus, it is better to take the test a month earlier than to risk your driver's licence later.

Let's conclude

Passing the MOT test is important to maintain the good working condition of the car and the safety of the driver. If you want to keep the usual inspection date, then it’s a good idea to book the inspection a month earlier. If you have lost the previous document and can’t book an MOT without it, contact any service centre — they will issue a new one if you provide the vehicle registration number and V5C.

Think about MOT today to save yourself the trouble later! And to get more information, contact the Carplus specialists — they will provide you with all the important facts!

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