How Long Do MOT Tests Take?

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How Long Do MOT Tests Take?

As every car owner will know, an MOT is a necessary, mandatory inspection that is fundamental to road safety.  

Whether you’re used to taking your car to its annual MOT or are a new driver who wants to know more about how long  MOT testing takes, the team here at Ken’s Autos has put together a handy blog that will outline everything you need to know about the inspection.

Read on to find out more.   

What is an MOT?

A Ministry of Transport, more commonly known as an MOT, is a mandatory inspection of most vehicles that ensures it’s roadworthy and safe to drive. 

Almost every car that is more than three years old requires an MOT each year, and it’s illegal to drive your car without an MOT certificate. An MOT certificate is also a necessary requirement when it comes to taxing your car and your insurance will be automatically invalid without an MOT.  

Your MOT certificate will last 12 months, meaning it’s necessary to organise an MOT test on an annual basis. 

What does an MOT cover?

The purpose of an MOT is to make sure that your car is safe to drive, protecting you and other road users when you’re behind the wheel.

With this in mind, it shouldn’t come as too much of a shock to you that an MOT covers an extensive list of vehicle functions. 

This includes the following:

Lights and reflectors 

All of your vehicle’s front, rear, brake, fog indicator and registration lights will be checked. This will be to make sure they’re in the correct position, secure and working as they should be. 

Electrical equipment

Your car’s battery, wiring, towbar sockets and more must all be secure and not damaged in any way. Plus, your horn must be loud enough to be heard by other road users and must emit a continuous sound. 

Steering and suspension

Steering will be checked to ensure it’s in a secure and good condition. If you have a locking device on your steering wheel it should only lock when the engine isn’t running. Suspension and shock absorbers will also be checked to ensure no corrosion or fractures have taken place. 


Brake pedals and levers should always be in good condition with all warning lights working correctly.

Tyres and wheels  

Tyre tread depth must be at least 1.6mm and MOT testers will also make sure there are no cuts, lumps, bulges or tears on your tyres. 

Seat belts 

All seat belts need to be of good quality and of the required length. There should be no cuts or frays in them which could result in them not working properly. 


The vehicle’s chassis, engine mounts, seats, bonnets, doors and other components will all be inspected to ensure they’re in a good, safe condition. 

General items

Registration plates must be secure and legible to someone standing 20 metres away from the car. The lettering must also be correctly formatted. Every vehicle must also display a legible VIN either on a VIN plate that is secured to the car and stamped or etched on the body or chassis. A working speedometer must also be fitted and easily read. 

Exhaust, fuel and emissions 

Exhaust systems must be secure and free of any leaks. Catalytic converters must also be present if the vehicle was fitted with one. Carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon tests will also take place to ensure they fall within the legal limits. Engine and oil levels will also be checked. 

Driver’s view of the road

Drivers must be able to see clearly out their windscreen, and there should be no damage or obstruction to the view any larger than 10mm. Outside of the viewing area, there should be no damage that exceeds 40mm. Wipers and washers should also swipe a wide enough area to give the driver an adequate view of the road ahead.

How long do MOT tests take?

A typical MOT test will take between 45 minutes to one hour. 

Usually, you can drop your car off, go about your day and come back to collect it later. If your car passes, you will be able to drive it away on the same day. If it fails and requires repairs, the garage may need to keep it and normally you can get it back the next day.

If it’s a ‘major’ problem that has seen the vehicle fail, you will be allowed to drive your vehicle to another garage to get the work carried out. However, if the fault is considered ‘dangerous’, the car is deemed unsafe to drive and must remain at the garage where the MOT has occurred for the repairs to be undertaken. 

Once the repairs have been completed, another MOT test must then take place.  

MOT tests with Ken’s Autos 

In addition to the range of quality spare parts and car accessories we supply, at Ken’s Autos we can also oversee your vehicle’s MOT test. We’ll carry out all of the necessary tests to ensure your vehicle is roadworthy and safe to drive and present you with a MOT certificate that meets your legal requirements should the vehicle pass. 

With more than 45 years of industry experience, we work across Nottingham, Mansfield, Derby and the surrounding areas. To find out more about what we do, get in touch with our team today. 


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