October 26, 2023

What is an MOT, and What Does it Stand for?

If you're a vehicle owner in the United Kingdom, you've likely come across the term "MOT" at some point. If not yet, it's time you familiarise yourself with the term while exploring its meaning, purpose, and how it affects you as a UK vehicle owner.

What Does MOT Stand for in the UK?

MOT stands for "Ministry of Transport". Specifically, it refers to the Ministry of Transport test that every vehicle on UK roads must undergo to ensure their roadworthiness.

Why is the MOT Test Necessary?

A MOT test is conducted to check the safety, roadworthiness, and exhaust emissions of vehicles on UK roads. It was designed to prevent people from driving cars that might have potentially dangerous faults.

It is also important to note that the MOT test is not optional. All vehicles older than three years must pass this test annually to remain legal on the road.

What Does the MOT Test Include?

The MOT test includes a range of checks on different parts of your car to ensure they meet the minimum standards laid out by the Driving and Vehicle Standards Authority.

These include checking that the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) is present and legible, and also checking if your registration plate/number plate is secure, readable, and in the correct format.

Other checks included in the MOT test are:

  • Lights
  • Wipers and Washer Bottle
  • Windscreen
  • Mirrors
  • Seatbelts
  • Seats
  • Horn
  • Steering and suspension
  • Fuel System
  • Emissions
  • Bodywork
  • Doors
  • Wheels and tyres
  • Brakes

      Pro Tip: Since a lot of the items listed above are quick and easy to check yourself, we recommend you to quickly inspect them before taking your car for its MOT test. It ensures you don’t pay for a re-test or repairs simply because you had a faulty light bulb or an under-inflated tyre.

      What Happens After the MOT Test?

      If you pass the MOT test, you'll receive a pass certificate (VT20) from the test centre. This certificate confirms that your vehicle meets the required safety and environmental standards at the time of the test.

      Keep the pass certificate in a safe place and with your car, always.

      Unfortunately, if your vehicle fails due to significant issues, you'll receive a fail certificate (VT30) outlining the reasons for failure. Have your car checked and repaired by a trained professional and go for the re-test ideally within 60 days from the original test.

      P.S. Do not drive your car with a failed MOT test, as it can be dangerous and is illegal.

      If your vehicle fails but only due to minor faults, you'll receive an advisory notice (VT32). This notice lists the issues that need attention but aren't significant enough to fail your MOT test.

      It is advisable to address the issues mentioned in the advisory notice promptly. Neglecting them could lead to more substantial problems down the road and could lead to a failed MOT test.



      In the United Kingdom, MOT stands for "Ministry of Transport," but it has evolved to represent a crucial aspect of vehicle ownership and road safety. Understanding what the MOT test entails, its significance, and how to navigate the process is essential for every UK motorist. By prioritising regular MOT testing and staying informed about the latest regulations, you can ensure that your vehicle remains safe, roadworthy, and compliant with UK law.



      • What is MOT full form?

        The full form of MOT is "Ministry of Transport".

      • Can I drive without MOT?

        The simple answer to the question ‘Can I drive without MOT?’ is, NO! MOT is a legal requirement in the UK, and it is mandatory to have a valid MOT when driving, except for a few scenarios where MOT is exempted. Read more about driving without an MOT in the UK.

      • What is MOT in UK?

        If you're wondering what is MOT in UK, MOT stands for "Ministry of Transport". It is the test that every vehicle on UK roads must undergo to check the safety, roadworthiness, and their exhaust emissions on UK roads.