When Does a New Car Need an MOT?

Victor Faeda

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When Does a New Car Need an MOT?

Last updated on: June 27, 2024

In the UK, any car that drives on public roads needs to pass an annual MOT test. The goal is to ensure it remains safe and compliant with regulations. So, knowing when you need to bring your car in for testing is essential to avoid hefty fines or penalties. If you recently bought a new vehicle, you may already know that you enjoy a small grace period. But, when does a new car need an MOT?

Read on to discover everything you need to know about booking your first MOT. You’ll find out when and how to make your appointment, as well as what to do if you let the deadline pass.


When do You Need Your First MOT


New cars in the UK aren’t required to pass an MOT test during their first 3 years of registration. In practice, this means your car needs to have its first MOT by the 3rd anniversary of its registration. For example, if the registration date is September 21st, 2021, then you must complete your first MOT by September 21st, 2024.

There are a few exceptions, such as ambulances, taxis, or buses. Due to their nature, these vehicles don’t get the 3-year “grace period” and will need to get their first MOT after just one year. This reflects the tough conditions they are meant to operate in, the high mileage they are expected to rack up in a short period of time, and the added need to ensure their safety conditions at all times.

If you are still in doubt, there is a handy tool where you can check when your next MOT is due on the Internet. Click here to find out how to check MOT online.


When does a new car need an MOT?


How To Book Your First MOT

The earliest you can have your MOT and keep the same renewal date is one month minus one day before the date the MOT is due. So, let’s look at the above example where the deadline for the MOT is September 21st. You could complete the MOT at any date between August 22nd and September 21st. The date for your next renewal would still be September 21st, 2025.

You can have your MOT done before that, but it will change the date when you need to bring your car in again. For example, imagine you decided to have your MOT done on August 15th instead. Then, it would run out one year minus one day later, on August 14th, 2025. 

We suggest you call your nearest certified inspection centre well in advance. Try to schedule the appointment for the earliest available date that is convenient for you and keeps the same renewal date. This gives you some time to prepare for your first MOT. Inspect the things that will be checked in the test and get your vehicle serviced, making sure it passes on the first try. It could also give you a little more leeway to get your car fixed in case it fails the inspection.


When does a new car need an MOT? What to do if your car fails an MOT What to do if your MOT expired

What To Do If Your MOT Expired


Be mindful of the deadlines! If your car fails an MOT, you’ll need to fix the underlying issue(s) and book a new inspection as soon as possible. You may not have to pay the full re-inspection fee if you can get the faults repaired quickly and/or in the same inspection centre.

You cannot legally drive on public roads with an invalid or expired MOT certificate and can incur a fine of up to £1,000 if caught. The legislation allows only two exceptions to this. You can drive to or from a repair shop to have the faults fixed, or to an MOT centre to get a new MOT. In either case, you must have an appointment pre-booked before you leave. If the police stop you, you will need to provide evidence that you are driving to one of these locations. Have some form of proof of your appointment handy – it can be a confirmation email or text message on your phone. It also helps if you have the shop’s contact details. 

So, do not let your MOT expire. Use the information and the tools provided in this article to make sure you don’t miss the date of your first inspection. This will help you stay safe on the road and avoid any unnecessary trouble or costs.

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