How much is an MOT?

Price Guide

£30 - £55

low

£30

median

£55

high

£55

Low, median and high bar chart distribuiton

How much is an MOT?

As a car or motorbike owner, it's important to know that once your vehicle has turned three years old, you are required to have it inspected for road safety. An MOT (or Ministry of Transportation) test ensures that all automobiles driven in the country are safe enough for drivers, passengers, other motor vehicles, and pedestrians.

MOT tests also check if the exhaust emissions are below what is allowed by the government to help reduce air pollution. However, it's essential to factor in how much an MOT costs into your budget even before your last certification expires because it is an annual requirement. Depending on what kind of vehicle you have, the costs range from £29.65 for motorbikes to £124.50 for bigger vehicles. 

Some centres charge lower than these rates, so you'll probably be able to cut down on the total costs. Just be careful and make sure to deal with approved MOT test centres only.

What do car inspections usually entail?

Aside from checking how much an MOT test is, it's essential to know what a standard motorcycle or car inspection includes. Understanding which parts will be inspected can also help you avoid failing the test and needing significant repairs. The lists provided by the government should not stop you from having other parts checked for further safety assurance, but these are the priority for being declared road-worthy. Besides the MOT, you will also need to have your vehicle routinely serviced and subject to a general mechanical condition.

For both motorcycles and cars, the MOT usually checks:

Body and frame

Maintaining the body of your car or the frame of your motorcycle isn't just about aesthetics. In an MOT test, the cost covers checking any significant deterioration that could affect your driving. For example, cracks on a motorbike frame can make steering difficult. Likewise, sharp edges on the car body can injure a passenger or pedestrian.

Fuel leaks

A fuel system leak can cause major disasters on the road or even when your car is parked. This step doesn't just ensure your vehicle's roadworthiness, but it also gives you peace of mind every time you get behind the wheel. Your MOT specialist will also inspect your car's hoses, pipes, and fuel cap to ensure no leakage risks.

Exhaust system

The centre will check if there are any missing catalysts in the vehicle's exhaust system during the MOT. It needs to be secure and complete to pass the test. Exhaust emissions will also be tested to be sure it meets the rule provided by the government. To avoid failing this part:

  • Observe proper vehicle maintenance, especially if it's a bit older.

  • Clean the muffler exterior regularly and let it dry before starting your car again to avoid soot and dirt build-up.

  • Watch out for loud noises as well that may indicate any issues. If you're getting a second-hand automobile, have it inspected first.

Seats

Both car and motorcycle seats will be checked during the MOT, albeit with different standards. Ultimately, they must be adequately attached, comfortable for the passenger or driver, adjustable, and suitable for the make and model of the vehicle. If you have a bigger vehicle like a van, the number of seats can add to cost and time.

Brakes

While the need to check the brake is for obvious reasons, don't miss out on the nitty-gritty details that will factor into your certification. These include any improper repairs or replacements, brake efficiency, the anti-lock braking system (ABS), and the electronic stability control (ESC).

Tyres and wheels

Your tyres and wheels will be checked for their overall condition, security, tyre size and type, and tread depth. For worn-out tyres, it's best to have them replaced even before the MOT. Aside from the test cost, it's also wise to include the necessary repairs when computing how much an MOT certificate costs. Having the repairs done when needed can save you a second test.

These are just some of the components an MOT test usually covers. You can check the official government website for the complete list of parts for cars and motorbikes

What is checked on a motorcycle MOT?

If you're wondering about the MOT costs for a 125cc motorbike, don't worry. A motorcycle MOT is standard for most makes and models with an engine below 200cc. The most that you'll likely spend on for the test is £29.65. It will include the usual parts listed above plus the following:

  • Lights

  • Steering and suspension

  • Horn

  • Registration plates, vehicle identification and frame numbers

  • Drive chain and sprocket

  • Throttle

  • Clutch lever

  • Footrests

How do I know if my car is MOT certified?

The best way to know is to ask for the MOT certificate from the seller. Brand new cars do not require an MOT test until they turn three years old, so they only need to be registered upon purchase. The time of registration would then indicate when you should have the first and succeeding MOTs. 

Factor in the testing fee if you're buying a second-hand car, and make sure that the certificate is authentic. You can check this on the website of the Ministry of Transportation to be safe! Otherwise, you can be prosecuted and penalised for driving a car without an MOT certificate.

How much does an MOT cost?

When buying a car, it's crucial to consider how much an MOT service costs. It is an annual expense for every vehicle, and it may even cost for second-hand or older cars and motorcycles. The good news is that the UK government prescribed a ceiling for the rates. 

The maximum motorcycle MOT cost is £29.65, while a car inspection can cost up to £54.85 for an average four-wheeler. These rates are VAT-free and may adjust depending on the vehicle. You may refer to the table below from gov.uk to see where your ride fits under:


Vehicle class

Age first MOT needed (years)

Maximum MOT fee

Motorcycle (engine size up to 200cc)

1

3

£29.65

Motorcycle with sidecar (engine size up to 200cc)

1

3

£37.80

Motorcycle (engine size over 200cc)

2

3

£29.65

Motorcycle with sidecar (engine size over 200cc)

2

3

£37.80

3-wheeled vehicles (up to 450 kg unladen weight)

3

3

£37.80

3-wheeled vehicles (over 450 kg unladen weight)

4

3

£54.85

Cars (up to 8 passenger seats)

4

3

£54.85

Motor caravans

4

3

£54.85

Quads (max unladen weight 400 kg - for goods vehicles 550 kg and max net power of 15kw)

4

3

£54.85

Dual-purpose vehicles

4

3

£54.85

Private hire and public service vehicles (up to 8 seats)

4

3

£54.85

Ambulances and taxis

4

1

£54.85

Private passenger vehicles and ambulances (9 to 12 passenger seats)

4

1

£57.30

Goods vehicles (up to 3,000 kg design gross weight)

4

3

£54.85

Class 4 vehicles (9 to 12 passenger seats) with a seat belt installation check

4a

n/a

£64

Private passenger vehicles and ambulances (13 to 16 passenger seats)

5

1

£59.55

Private passenger vehicles and ambulances (more than 16 passenger seats)

5

1

£80.65

Playbuses

5

1

£80.65

Class 5 vehicles (13 to 16 passenger seats) with a seatbelt installation check

5a

n/a

£80.50

Class 5 vehicles (more than 16 passenger seats) with a seatbelt installation check

5a

n/a

£124.50

Goods vehicles (over 3,000 kg up to 3,500 kg design gross weight)

7

3

£58.60


Are there any vehicles that are exempt from getting an MOT?

If your vehicle hasn't reached a certain age (refer to the table above), it won't need an MOT. However, according to gov.uk, there are a few vehicle types that don't require an MOT, such as: 

  • Electric goods vehicles registered before March 1, 2015

  • Tractors

  • Some historic vehicles

  • Lorries, buses, and trailers, which need an annual vehicle test instead of an MOT

Now that you know how much a car MOT costs, you're ready to put up a task on Airtasker to be connected with an accredited MOT testing centre in your area. There are plenty of Taskers who can help you! They may even explain how you can prepare your vehicle better before the MOT is due. This is very important when booking through the Airtasker platform so you can choose the right Tasker for the job. 

Indicate right away that the test that you need is for an MOT certification when you put up a task. Then, ask for proof of certification before accepting the offer. The centre must have a blue sign with three white triangles for them to carry out MOT tests. Take note as well that some details here may not be applicable if you're in Northern Ireland.

FAQs

How early can you book an MOT test?

You can book a test as early as one month before your current MOT certificate expires. Booking the test earlier may mean overlapping MOT certificate validities. The validity date will be one year after the last time that your vehicle passed the MOT. It may seem like a waste of money, but early testing may be necessary if you intend to sell your car or motorcycle.

What happens after I get my MOT test results?

If you pass, you can continue driving your vehicle as per usual. Just make sure to file the necessary paperwork and double-check the status on the website. If your car or motorcycle fails, you would need to address the necessary repairs. Most centres offer repair right away and waive the fee for the retest. However, having it repaired elsewhere for more than ten days may lead to double the test fees.

How long is the validity of an MOT certificate?

An MOT certificate is valid only for a year from the date it was issued, so you must bring your car or motorbike to the centre every 12 months. Once you have enough to cover a motorbike MOT test in your preferred testing centre, you can bring it a month before its current MOT certificate expires. The expiry date on your new certificate will still be 12 months after the previous one.

How long does an MOT take?

An average MOT can take around 45 minutes to an hour. However, if your car or motorbike is a bit rundown, expect a few repairs to take longer. Avoid missing out on routine services to prevent failing an MOT and having to do retests after repair. This can take longer and add to how much a motorcycle MOT costs overall.