MOTs: when you need them and how to check if yours is due

In most parts of the UK, vehicles over three years old need an MOT test each year.

This means if your lease has been extended, your vehicle could need another one or two MOT tests before you hand it back.

In this article, we wanted to explain more about MOTs and why it’s important to make sure you’re getting yours done in plenty of time.

Don’t forget that for Motability Scheme customers the cost of your MOT is included as part of your worry-free lease package.

What is an MOT test?

MOT stands for ‘Ministry of Transport’, after the department that introduced the test in 1960.

An MOT test checks that your car still meets the current road safety and environmental standards.

This includes checking everything from the brakes and exhaust through to seatbelts and wipers, but not the engine, gearbox or clutch. The MOT is both a legal requirement and forms part of your Motability Scheme lease agreement, so it’s important that this is carried out in plenty of time before it expires.

When do I need an MOT?

If your car is on a standard three-year lease it will need an MOT test before you can hand it back. You can do this in the last three months of your lease.

If you have a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle (WAV) where the lease is longer than three years, you will need an MOT test when it is three years old. Your WAV will then require an MOT test every 12 months after this.

Vehicles in Northern Ireland do not require an MOT test until they are four years old and vehicles registered in the Isle of Man do not need an MOT test at all.

What if I’m extending my lease?

If you’re interested in extending the lease on your vehicle, you’ll need to complete your MOT before we can add your extension.

If you’ve already extended your lease, you’ll need another MOT test every 12 months.

For example, if you extend your three-year lease for another two years, you’ll need an MOT test in the fourth year and fifth years of your lease.

How do I know if my MOT test is due?

You can book your MOT test three months before it is due to expire.

Find your dealer’s contact details here

Your managing dealer should contact you when your MOT test is due, but if this has not happened, please contact them as soon as possible to make an appointment. If you’re not sure when you need an MOT test, you can check this on the Government’s website and set up an email or text reminder if you would find this useful.

We’ve also recently added a new feature to the Motability Scheme online account, which will add a notification to your homepage if your MOT is due in the next 90 days.

This will show the date your MOT must be completed by and give you a link to your dealer’s contact details so you can contact them to make a booking.

You’ll see the notification in your online account until your MOT test has been completed and the record has been updated on the government database.

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Where can I book an MOT test?

Your dealer or supplier will usually carry out your MOT test.

If they cannot do this for any reason, you can also contact Kwit Fit and make an appointment at one of their centres.

We recommend you book your MOT in for at least one month before it’s due, to allow time for anything to be fixed before your MOT expires.

What if my MOT expires?

In most parts of the UK, if you do not complete your MOT before it expires, you will legally only be able to drive your vehicle to a pre-booked MOT appointment to have the test completed.

In Northern Ireland, you are still able to drive your vehicle if your MOT has expired, as long as you have booked an appointment to get this completed.

You can find out more about the guidance in Northern Ireland on the nidirect website.

Related information

How to spring clean your car (and the best tools to do it)

MOT reminders in the Motability Scheme online account

Quarter of drivers can’t identify what’s under a car’s bonnet – survey

From the Motability Scheme


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