MOT Tests: Cost, Duration and Reasons for Failure

MOTs are compulsory for any car that has passed its third birthday. From that point on, you will need to have one conducted every year unless you choose to sell your car and buy a new one. Please note that even cars that come with extended manufacturer’s warranties or servicing schemes that go beyond three years still need to undergo an MOT. Book your MOT Test in London with Elite Direct. In the meantime, what can you expect from this sort of official car inspection? 

MOT Costs

All places where MOTs are carried out must meet the exacting standards that are laid out by the DVSA. Not only does each and every test centre need to meet the required safety standards but the mechanics who carry out MOTs must be fully trained and compliant. This means that some MOT centres charge a great deal for what is a standardised series of inspections and checks. That said, you can expect to pay about £40 or so for an MOT at a reputable test centre. So, if you are asked to pay more, then it is definitely worth shopping around.


Any MOT certificate will be valid for 12 months following a pass. In terms of how long you can expect an MOT to take, the average time is somewhere between 45 minutes and an hour. It will often depend on the make and model of the car being inspected. Note that many MOTs can be conducted while you wait but it is also common to simply drop your car off in the morning to return to it later in the day. This way, MOT test centres can book multiple tests each day, helping to keep the average cost down.

Reasons for Failure

There are many, many reasons that a car might fail its MOT. Bear in mind that an MOT isn’t an inspection of your car but a series of inspections and tests. In other words, your car could fail even if it passes nearly all of them but is let down in one or two areas. Typically, cars will fail MOTs because their lights are not in good working order. Almost a fifth of failures are due to faulty headlamps, brake lights and so on. The next most common reason your car might fail is because its tyres are not roadworthy. Poorly maintained tyres and improperly functioning suspension systems are both often cited as reasons for MOT failures.

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