When and How to Book a MOT Test

Booking Your MOT Test image 4848948948948
Image: adapted from https://www.checkmot.com/

Since the move to the digital MOT system, it can be difficult to keep track of just when your MOT is due. You won’t receive a reminder in the post, so it’s up to you to keep track of when your certificate expires. If you’ve lost the note the garage gave you the last time you had your car inspected, then you can check online for confirmation of the expiry date. There is a bit of flexibility in when you book your test so it’s important to understand the rules.

Month “Leeway”

You don’t need to book an appointment for your MOT on the day the previous one expires. In fact, it’s probably a good idea to not leave things to the last minute. There is built in leeway into the system. If you book your MOT within a month of it expiring, the new validity will be added onto the end. So if your MOT expires at the end of September, and have it retested on the 5th of that month, the new certificate will expire at the end of September in the following year. Use this to your advantage by shopping around for the most convenient time or the best price for your test. If you leave it to the last day or two your choice will be restricted.

Online Booking

Perhaps the most convenient way of booking your MOT is by going online. Most of the major garage chains will have some way of booking through their website. The main advantage of this is that you can book your test at any time of the day or night and choose a time and location which is convenient. However, the downside of online booking is that you don’t have the opportunity to speak to the mechanic first and flag up any problems which you think the vehicle might have.

Does Garage Loyalty Pay?

MOT testing by its very nature is supposed to be standardised across the UK. All testers have the same training and work to the same checklist when they check your car.  The government caps the price of MOT tests for all vehicles, so there is often no cost advantage to going elsewhere either. Loyalty might only pay off when your car needs additional work such as new tyres or a service at the same time as the MOT. Often garages will cut the cost of a MOT if you’re buying a service at the same time, or will do a special deal for customers who give them regular business through the year. There is no harm in asking.


If your car fails its first MOT and needs additional work, you won’t be asked to make a second appointment for a retest. If the garage is very busy however, they might not be able to do the remedial work and retest right away. If you’re not sure whether your car will pass, it’s worth asking about availability when you make the booking.