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When you own a car or van, it’s vital to ensure you stay legal and safe.

Our instant check service takes away the worry of not knowing when you need to get your car or van MOT tested, or taxed, or both.

You can sign-up for email reminders so you stay legal in future, plus our app keeps all your data in one place and has a host of fantastic features which you can use to keep you on the road and save money on things like MOT tests, servicing, repairs and tyres.

It’s quick, easy and best of all, driverhelpline is free.

If our check shows you need an MOT, you can book online with driverhelpline. Our network of over 500 Government Approved UK Testing Stations means there’s bound to be a centre near you. Whether you’re booking last minute or planning in advance, driverhelpline will book you in quickly and easily online.

Your MOT test will be carried out local to you using DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) Qualified Technicians.

Why do I need an MOT?

Not only does it make sense to keep your car or van in a safe and roadworthy condition when you use it on the road - it’s the law.

When do I need an MOT test?

If your vehicle is more than three years old, the MOT test will check that it meets strict road safety and environmental standards; things like lights, tyres and engine emissions. Once your car or van passes a test you will receive a certificate which is valid for 12 months from the day of the test. The certificate will also separately list any 'advisory' or 'minor' items that will require attention in the near future so you can keep an eye on them.

Is the MOT test a service?

The MOT test checks the condition of your vehicle, it is not a service and no oils or parts are replaced. It’s wise to get your car or van serviced every year - or more often if you do high mileages - so why don’t you get it done at the same time as the MOT; this will save you hassle, time and money. The driverhelpline service deals are great value, saving you £££s against dealer servicing plus you’ll get your MOT test cheaper too.

What if my MOT certificate has expired?

Don’t panic - help is at hand if you find your MOT has expired, but you can only use your car to drive directly to a pre-booked MOT appointment. Just enter your car or van registration above to get a booking and get your MOT test done with driverhelpline FAST!

It’s just not worth driving a vehicle without an MOT because it may pose a risk to your safety and the safety of others, also your insurance may be invalid and you won’t be able to renew your road tax. Driving without an MOT could result in a police caution, can carry the penalty of fines of up to £2,500 and include points on your licence if the vehicle is found to be unroadworthy.

What do I need for my MOT test and how long will it take?

The only thing you need to bring to an MOT test is the vehicle being tested, because we will have all the information we need online. The MOT test takes approximately 45 to 60 minutes and every one of our approved centres has comfortable seating, free tea and coffee and free wifi so you can make yourself at home while you wait.

What are the top MOT test fails?

1. Lights. This causes almost a fifth of cars to fail and MOT test, most commonly a blown bulb or a cracked lens.

2. Suspension. In the UK, over one in ten cars fail as a result of suspension issues. So if your car doesn’t sit level or ‘clucks’ as you drive over bumpy roads, you are likely to have a problem.

3. Brakes. Again, about one in ten cars and vans fail the MOT test because the footbrake or handbrake is not up to standard. If you have a problem it should be obvious, like having to 'pump’ the brake pedal or squealing or grinding noise from the brakes.

4. Tyres. Another major item is tyres which also amount to around one in ten failures. Try and get into the habit of checking your tyres monthly for tread wear and damage. Issues in the areas would mean you fail and MOT test.

The driverhelpline car gurus have a list of quick and easy checks below which you can do yourself, before your MOT test.

How can I prepare for the MOT test?

You know that driverhelpline are on your side, so we want to help you to avoid re-test fees by passing your MOT first time. Our technical experts, who are always on hand to help you, have listed a bunch of quick and easy checks you can do yourself, before your MOT test.

Number Plate

Your number plate needs to be clean and readable to pass an MOT, so how about a quick wash. The number plate should not be damaged and the characters cannot be obscured by fixings, plus it must comply with the DVLA’s legal requirements, so no ‘show plates’.


Lights need to be in good working order so check your sidelights, headlights and indicators. Don’t forget the rear number plate, reversing, fog and brake lights. Someone could help you check the brake lights, or you could position your car against a reflective surface to see if they're working.


Your tyres should be properly inflated so check your vehicle handbook for the correct pressures. The minimum legal tyre tread depth is 1.6mm around the central ¾ of each tyre, less than this is an MOT fail. Most tyres have tread wear indicators, if these are visible your tyre needs replacing before the test.

Dashboard Warnings

The MOT now includes a ‘Malfunction Indicator Lamp’ check, a visual check of warning lights for systems such as engine management, safety restraints, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control and tyre pressure monitoring (if they are fitted). These lights should not be on when your engine is running.

Seats and Seatbelts

Your driver's seat must adjust as designed and lock securely in any position. Seatbelts fail the MOT test if they are frayed or cut and they must be secure, so a quick tug will make sure they are not loose and they lock and retract properly. Finally they must be able to clip in and unclip without hassle.


You need to have a horn which works from a switch inside the vehicle and is clearly audible. Test your horn and if it doesn't work, it'll need to be repaired or replaced. The most common causes for a horn not to work are a blown fuse or faulty electrical connections to it.

Fuel and Engine Oil

Your engine needs to run to check emissions, so you need enough fuel and engine oil for this. To check the oil, switch off the engine and wait a minute for the oil to settle. Remove the dipstick, wipe it clean, push it back in, wait a second, withdraw it and check the level is between the two dipstick marks.


Make sure your brakes are in good working condition. If the car pulls to one side when you apply the brakes, this may suggest a problem that requires further attention before you take your MOT. In addition, with the handbrake applied just a few notches it should be able to hold the car on a hill.


This is a big area which tests the windscreen, wipers, washers and mirrors. Windscreen cracks or chips bigger than 10mm on the driver’s side, and more than 40mm in the rest of your windscreen will cause an MOT fail. Wipers must clean the front and back screens properly, so make sure you have enough fluid and the jets get that fluid to the screens. Remove obstructions to your view such as stickers, a phone holder or furry dice. Missing, broken or obscured rear-view mirrors will also fail an MOT.