When does a new car need an MOT?

Wednesday, 27th March 2024

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So you’re enjoying your new car or considering owning one, but you’re not sure how frequently or when exactly you will need to carry out an MOT on a new car.

The answer to when a new car needs an MOT will depend on the age of the car – as an MOT is a legal requirement to ensure the car meets safety and environmental standards. We cover these details and more in our specific MOT for new cars blog.

What does an MOT cover?

An MOT (Ministry of Transport) test is a mandatory annual test for vehicles in the UK that are more than three years old. It ensures that your car meets the minimum legal safety and environmental standards.

During an MOT test, various components of your car, such as lights, brakes, steering, suspension, exhaust, and emissions, are thoroughly checked to ensure they are in good working condition and meet the required standards. The test does not cover the mechanical condition of the engine, clutch, or gearbox.

The MOT process is governed by strict rules set down by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

Are there different types of MOTs for new cars?

There is only one type of MOT (Ministry of Transport) test in the UK for cars. However, there are different types of tests for other types of vehicles such as lorries, buses, and motorcycles. The MOT tests for these vehicles are more comprehensive and cover additional checks that are specific to each type of vehicle. In all, there are different types of MOT tests available in the UK, depending on the vehicle type and its intended use.

  • The most common type is the Class 4 MOT, which covers passenger vehicles with up to 8 seats and 3-wheeled vehicles over 450kg.
  • Other classes include Class 5 for private passenger vehicles with 13 or more seats, Class 7 for vans and commercial vehicles weighing between 3,000kg and 3,500kg, and Class 1 and 2 for motorcycles and motorbikes with or without a sidecar.
  • There are also specialised MOT tests available for taxis, ambulances, and other special-purpose vehicles.

Does a new car need a regular MOT or car service?

A new car does not require an MOT test until it is three years old. After that, it is required to have an MOT test every year. However, it is recommended to have regular services for your car, regardless of its age. A regular service each year can help keep your car running smoothly and identify any potential issues before they become major problems. A service typically includes an oil change, a check of the brakes, suspension, and other key components, and a general inspection of the vehicle.

How do I know when my first MOT is due?

To know when your first MOT is due, you can check the date of your car’s first registration and add three years to it. For instance, if your car was first registered on 1st January 2019, your first MOT is due on or before 1st January 2022. To find out how soon a new vehicle needs an MOT, you can also check the MOT status and history of your car online using the government's official website.

You can get an MOT test for peace of mind at any time before the car reaches three years of age – but there's no legal requirement to do so.

Do new cars not need an MOT for 3 years?

In the UK, a new car needs its first MOT test when it is three years old from the date of its registration. After that, it will need to be tested every year. However, it's important to note that this may change depending on the make and model of the car, so it's always best to check with the manufacturer or a trusted mechanic for specific information.

What are the new MOT changes for 2023?

The UK government is proposing changes to MOT testing, to take place after 4 years instead of 3, due to increased confidence in vehicle technology and safety. However, the details of these changes are not yet confirmed.

To check on information about new MOT changes for 2023 and beyond, please refer to the UK Government website, where you will find regular updates on MOT test rules and regulations.

For more information on MOTs check out our MOT FAQs.

Book a New Car MOT at HiQ

Our qualified MOT testers will ensure your vehicle is thoroughly inspected and meets the safety requirements set out by the DVSA.

We can remind you when your MOT or service is due

We can remind you when your MOT is due