It is imperative to check that your van is road worthy and safe to drive. It has been reported that each year there are 1.3 million deaths linked to road crashes, with an average 3,287 deaths a day. There are precautions that you as a driver can take before jumping into your van, taking an MOT test is one.

 What is an MOT?

Legislation released by the UK Government states that by the third anniversary of its registration, the vehicle must get an Ministry of Transport Test, also known as a MOT test.

This verifies that the van is in full working condition and is safe to drive. The certificate needs to be granted, or your van could be at risk of repossession by the police. Additionally, without holding an MOT certification, your insurance company will not pay out a claim if an accident occurs.

What does the test examine?

This test assesses the following:

  • Lighting and Signaling equipment
  • Steering
  • Suspension
  • Brakes
  • Tyres
  • Wheels
  • Seat Belts
  • The general structure of the body
  • Exhaust
  • Fuel and emissions
  • The driver view of the road.

An MOT test examines the safety of your vehicle for all road conditions, with the anticipation of the life of any parts that may need replacing. During the test, van millage is recorded however it does not contribute or influence the results of the test.

 How much will it cost me?

MOT certificates vary in price depending on the size of vehicle. For example, a motorcycle will cost around £30 ranging to £130 for vehicles with more than 16 passenger seats. Vans typically cost from £40- £80, all dependent on size. These prices fluctuate if you take your van to a private garage.

How often do I need to get an MOT?

Once your van reaches three years old, it will require an MOT test once every year. Vans under three years old do not need an MOT certificate.

You can renew your MOT up to one month before the existing one expires. However, if you are a due for an MOT on a certain date, you should try to book the test before to avoid driving illegally.

Booking an MOT

When booking a test, you need to ensure that the center is an approved MOT test establishment, where a blue sign with 3 white triangles will be displayed.

You’ll need the vehicle registration number, the last four digits of the chassis number and if you’re using the online or telephone service, a debit/credit card.

I’ve passed the MOT Test. What do I do now?

You’ll get a call from the garage telling you to pick up your van at a selected time. When you pick up your van you will receive an MOT certificate from the test center, with a full breakdown of the results. The certificate will be recorded in an MOT database.

You will then need to return for an MOT test 3 years later.

Your MOT certificate should be kept safe if you intend on selling your van in the future, as the certificate shows the full history of the car.

 My van has failed the MOT Test. What should I do?

Your van will need to have the necessary work completed to ensure the MOT certificate can be distributed, once being retested. Driving without a valid MOT certificate is illegal with the possibility of prosecution.