Without a valid MOT makes the car illegal to drive on the road

Once your car reaches its third birthday, it’s time to start thinking about taking your vehicle for its very first MOT test.

You car will require an annual MOT once it is three years old.  

The MOT requirements were significantly overhauled in 2018 with three new fault categories:

  • Dangerous
  • Major
  • Minor

Providing your car passes its test, you will receive a certificate that shows your vehicle is roadworthy and meets a number of environmental and safety standards.

If you don’t have a valid MOT certificate, you won’t be able to tax your car – and without a tax disc, you won’t be able to legally drive your car.

You should also note that without a valid MOT Certificate, your car insurance will be not be valid.

An MOT can be carried out up one month, minus a day, prior to the expiry date of your existing MOT certificate, whilst still preserving the anniversary of the expiry date. If you have your test carried out a month before the due date, your MOT is effectively valid for 13 months.

ResultWhat it means about the itemMOT

A direct and immediate risk to road safety or has a serious impact on the environment.

Do not drive the vehicle until it’s been repaired.


It may affect the vehicle’s safety, put other road users at risk or have an impact on the environment.

Repair it immediately.


No significant effect on the safety of the vehicle or impact on the environment.

Repair as soon as possible.


It could become more serious in the future.

Monitor and repair it if necessary.


It meets the minimum legal standard.

Make sure it continues to meet the standard.