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How to check the MOT history of a vehicle

By Mathilda Bartholomew | March 8, 2024


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We delve into why you should check a vehicle's MOT history and where you can find the results you need...

How to check the MOT history of a vehicle

To legally drive on the road, your vehicle must possess a valid MOT certificate. Here's everything you need to know about the MOT, including how you can find your car's MOT due dates and history.

What is an MOT?

Every year, cars aged three or older must undergo an MOT test, a mandatory examination to ensure roadworthiness. Across the country, approximately 23,000 registered MOT testing stations facilitate this process. The term 'MOT' harks back to the time when the current Department for Transport was referred to as the Ministry of Transport.

Why do cars need an MOT?

Vehicles are intricate machines, and maintaining them in optimal condition is crucial for the safety of everyone on the road. While many drivers are conscientious about regular car servicing, the MOT test serves as a safety net for all vehicles, identifying issues that may go unnoticed during routine maintenance.

Why is checking a car's MOT history important?

For vehicles with a few years under their belt, unravelling the MOT history proves invaluable. Conducting due diligence through MOT history checks can prevent the purchase of vehicles with significant defects or those unfit for the road.

Checking a car's MOT history is important because:

  • Examining your own car's MOT history provides essential insights into its retest schedule and any previous issues flagged for potential attention.
  • Before investing in a full vehicle history check or visiting the car in person, reviewing the MOT history of a used car is prudent.
  • Assessing the number of past failures or advisories in a car's MOT history offers a glimpse into its maintenance history. This information can hint at whether the vehicle has endured a challenging life or required extensive repairs in the past.
  • When inspecting a car with past advisories, you can search for evidence of completed work or negotiate a lower price if issues remain unresolved.
  • Comparing mileages between MOT tests helps identify irregularities such as minimal usage over several years or unusually high mileage within a short period, both potential indicators of underlying problems.
  • Cross-referencing a car's advertised mileage with its MOT history can reveal discrepancies that suggest potential tampering with the odometer, a practice known as clocking.
How can I check a car's MOT history?

Easily retrieve this information by entering the registration number into Regit's free online MOT history checker.

How can I check my car's MOT due date?

A vehicle's initial MOT becomes mandatory at the age of three, followed by an annual test thereafter. To determine the upcoming test date, you can refer to your latest MOT certificate. Alternatively, our convenient online checker eliminates the need to sift through extensive paperwork, providing you with the due date effortlessly. Check your MOT due date here.

Understanding MOT and its history is not just a legal obligation but a smart move for informed vehicle ownership. Stay ahead, stay legal, and stay safe on the road.

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