When does my vehicle need its first MOT?

Book your car's first MOT test

Every vehicle in the UK must have its first MOT test by the third anniversary of its registration date.

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Book your MOT with Smart Care

Book an MOT


The car's registration date

New cars are usually registered by the forecourt dealer for the owner or keeper, and the V5C registration document or logbook is then sent to them.

The first MOT test is due no later than 3 years from the registration date.

If your car was imported and you don't know the registration date, you'll need add on 3 years from the manufacturer date.

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Why an MOT test after 3 years?

The MOT test checks that your vehicle meets road safety and environmental standards.

It's accepted that new vehicles remain roadworthy for the first 36 months of use. On the expiry of this period the government requires that every car has a valid MOT.

After the first MOT the vehicle must be tested every year.

You can be fined up to £1,000 for driving a vehicle without a valid MOT, because your car may not be safe to drive. The only exceptions to this are:

  • Driving the car to a garage to be repaired.

  • Driving the car to a pre-arranged MOT test.

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When can I book an MOT test?

You can set up an MOT reminder and book your MOT in plenty of time before the test is due.

AA Members who have a Smart Care account can set up a reminder in their vehicle page.

If you're not sure whether a vehicle has had a recent MOT, there's a useful MOT history checker that shows the due or expiry date.

When you get an MOT test up to a month (minus a day) before the due or expiry date, the certificate will be valid for 12 months from that date.

If you renew the MOT earlier than this, the MOT certificate will then be valid for 12 months from the test date.

The cost of an MOT test is set by the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), and the price depends on the type of vehicle that's being checked.

Our MOT checklist can help your car to pass its MOT.

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MOT test from AA Smart Care

When you book an MOT you get:

  • Testing at AA approved garages.
  • Quick and easy online booking and payment.
  • Repair parts and labour are guaranteed for 1 year or up to 12,000 miles.
  • Fair, transparent pricing.

And if you book a service with an MOT, you can get free vehicle collection and return, subject to availability.

If your car does fail its MOT and you'd like us to make the necessary repairs, we can carry out your retest for free.


Author: The AA

The easy way to book an MOT

Book your MOT test at an AA approved local garage.

Free collection and return when you book a service with an MOT, subject to availability. Repair parts and labour are guaranteed for 1 year or up to 12,000 miles.